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HUNT341 Nutrition and Behaviour Change Communication

Principles and key concepts of behaviour theories and models of behaviour change and their application to individual eating behaviour (practices and skills).

Behaviour and behaviour change are highly complex processes; knowing what we should be eating does not mean that we always make the healthy choice. This paper focuses on why people make the decisions they do in health and nutrition and how we can change habits and behaviours. HUNT 341 provides you not only with an understanding of behaviour, but also opportunities to practice behaviour change techniques in a supported environment. You will leave the course ready to put your skills into practice to help people effectively meet their nutrition goals on an individual, group or population level.

Paper title Nutrition and Behaviour Change Communication
Paper code HUNT341
Subject Human Nutrition
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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(HUNT 221, HUNT 222 and HUNT 223) or (Two of HUNT 241,HUNT 242, HUNT 243 or HUNT 245)
Schedule C
Students in the Bachelor of Applied Sciences with a major in Sport and Exercise Nutrition may take this paper having passed HUNT221 and one of HUNT222 or HUNT223. To do this, apply for Special Permission at the Review and Submit stage of your application.

Teaching staff

Dr Sara Styles

Olivia Cornille

Paper Structure

The paper is organised into four major topic areas:

  1. Dietary behaviour (including intuitive eating, dieting, and eating disorders)
  2. Theory and behaviour change (including the Behaviour Change Wheel)
  3. Barriers and facilitators of dietary behaviour change (individual, social, and environmental factors, including weight stigma and mental health)
  4. Behaviour change techniques (including motivational interviewing and techniques informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
Teaching Arrangements

Two 50-minute lectures per week. Lecture recordings will be available.

Weekly 2-hour small interactive groups/practical seminars. Practical sessions are compulsory.

Students will complete an electronic workbook throughout the semester.


Clifford D, Curtis L. Motivational interviewing in nutrition and fitness. New York: The Guilford Press; 2016. Available from:

Key research papers will be used to complement lecture material. These will be available through Blackboard.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of HUNT 341 students will be able to:

  1. Understand common dietary behaviours and identify when a client has an issue requiring care from another professional
  2. Translate theory into practical strategies to influence dietary behaviour
  3. Demonstrate the communication skills required to facilitate individual-level nutrition-specific behaviour change
  4. Produce well-written reflections of changing their own behaviour as well as a conversation with a "client"

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 9-14, 16-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 09:00-10:50 9-13, 16-20
A2 Friday 12:00-13:50 9-13, 16-20
A3 Friday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 16-20