Community nutrition encompasses the programs and services targeted towards individuals or groups within a specific geographic area designed to provide access to a healthful diet and prevent disease.
How does Mason approach community nutrition?
The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies focuses on solving nutritional problems in communities through coursework, supervised practice experiences, research, and outreach. The program is designed to provide students a comprehensive background in nutrition so that graduates can translate science and policy into real and meaningful actions to improve the health of individuals and groups in communities. Students have the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom—they work with college students to make better food choices and athletes to enhance performance, and they work to improve the health of ethnic minorities and disadvantaged infants, children, and pregnant women in the United States and internationally. Through these experiences, graduates are prepared to transition to community nutrition positions within educational institutions, food industry, government, or global health organizations.
Examples of current and past projects and activities
Courses which include some component of community nutrition at the undergraduate and graduate level:
NUTR 421 - Community Nutrition
NUTR 420/620 - Strategies for Nutrition Education
NUTR 422/522 - Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle
NUTR 583 - Food and Culture
NUTR 608 - Perspectives on Food Security
NUTR 630 - Global Nutrition
NUTR 675 - Nutrition Program Development, Interventions and Assessments
Past and current research projects involving community nutrition:
Childhood Health, Exercise & Wellness Program (CHEW): A randomized controlled trial to target early treatment for childhood obesity among Latino children
Maternal and infant vitamin D supplementation beliefs and practices of Women, Infant, and Children Clinic (WIC) participants in Northern Virginia
Development and use of a tool for the assessment of Loudoun County, Virginia primary care provider's knowledge, attitudes, and practices on infant feeding and supplementation policies
Project to promote healthy eating, active living, and obesity prevention among WIC-enrolled mothers and their children in Fairfax County
Feeducation Project in McDowell County, West Virginia
Breastfeeding knowledge, attitude, and practices among mothers and community health workers in rural Kenya
The Mason Undergraduate Nutrition for Campus Health (MUNCH) research project