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Food Industry, Politics and Public Health

4th Term
Health Policy and Management
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Next Offered
2024 - 2025

Introduction to Online Learning

Through engagement with policymakers and key industry players, this course explores how the global food and beverage industry wields their power to influence public health, and what we can do to combat that power.
Explores the food industry’s immense role in shaping public health through effects on our physiology, preferences, environments, culture, public policies, and understanding of nutrition science. Critically evaluates governmental and private sector activities designed to promote healthier eating, including state and local policy initiatives intended to reduce morbidity and mortality. Presents challenges and considerations for engaging with the food and beverage industry to promote public health and issues of health disparities as they relate to food environments and policies.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Define the scope of the food and beverage industry as it relates to public health
  2. Explain the food and beverage industry’s history of action to influence food choices and their motivations for acting
  3. Describe the social, political, and historical context in which current interventions to promote healthy eating are based, including industry’s role in influencing science and policy
  4. Critically analyze private and public sector activities designed to promote healthier eating, including the degree to which these activities meet their intended goals, co-benefits of these activities for public health and well-being, and unintended consequences
  5. Design feasible and effective approaches to combat food and beverage industry power, with attention to reducing nutritional disparities specifically and improving health equity more broadly
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 10% Participation
  • 20% Reflection
  • 25% Midterm Paper
  • 25% Final Paper
  • 20% Final Presentation
Enrollment Restriction
Undergraduates not permitted in this course