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Food Systems for Health Problem Solving Seminar: Lessons from American Indian Communities

1st Term
International Health
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Asynchronous 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
Food systems are inextricably linked to the health and well-being of the environment, animals, and humans. Understanding factors that influence food systems, which in turn impact health outcomes and health inequities, is a critical public health concern. American Indian communities experience some of the most severe food systems related health problems; at the same time, Indigenous Peoples offer innovative, culturally grounded solutions for sustainable, equitable, and healthy food systems.
Provides an overview of food systems and relevant health outcomes across the United States and in American Indian communities. Explores how health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes are linked to food systems. Identifies significant public health issues disproportionately affecting historically oppressed and marginalized communities. Emphasizes food systems for health in American Indian contexts specifically. Explores the multifaceted set of factors that impact food systems and health outcomes. Applies a problem-solving approach to understand pressing health concerns and celebrate successful food systems changes. Analyzes how the integration of knowledge, cultural norms and values, and engagement of multiple stakeholders is critical to shaping effective programs and policies.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify food systems related health inequities—with case examples from American Indian communities
  2. Describe historical and modern roots of food systems-related health inequities
  3. Explain the diversity of American Indian communities and the complex ways in which historical trauma impacts health today
  4. Articulate strengths and weaknesses of existing data in identifying opportunities for intervention and limitations of surveillance systems for addressing food systems-related health problems in the US
  5. Analyze the complex and multi-faceted set of factors that impact health inequities related to food systems, including social determinants, behavioral, policy, environmental and systems-level factors
  6. Integrate knowledge of cultural norms and values and community concerns and priorities into assessing the state of food systems related health outcomes
  7. Integrate knowledge, approaches, methods, and values from multiple professions and knowledge systems to address health inequities
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 10% Participation
  • 60% Assignments
  • 20% Group Presentation
  • 10% Discussion Board
Enrollment Restriction
DrPH student