Nutrition and Food Studies Research:
Global Nutrition

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What is global nutrition?

Global nutrition can be defined as a comprehensive look at nutritional status and determinants across various populations worldwide. While undernutrition is predominant in low-income nations, overnutrition is more common in high-income countries and populations. In global nutrition, we acknowledge the multiple factors that influence food- and nutrition-related factors and nutritional status.

How does Mason approach global nutrition?

At Mason, we have engaged in global nutrition through our courses, practicum opportunities, collaborations, and research work. Our collaborations with Kisumu Medical and Educational Trust (KMET) in Kenya, Bega Kwa Bega in Uganda, and USAID have provided for practicum and research opportunities for both our students and faculty. Our research interests in global nutrition are wide-ranging and include: validation of dietary assessment methodologies and diet quality measures in populations of low-income and literacy, occurrence and determinants of obesity among children and adults, occurrence and determinants of food insecurity, culturally acceptable food-based interventions, and nutrition- and food-related behaviors among mothers and children. Our faculty and students have utilized primary and secondary data to explore and examine nutrition-related issues among populations in global settings.

Examples of current and past projects and activities

Courses which include some component of global nutrition:  

  • NUTR 583 - Food and Culture
  • NUTR 608 - Perspectives on Food Insecurity
  • NUTR 620 - Nutrition Education
  • NUTR 630 - Global Nutrition
  • NUTR 642 - Macronutrients
  • NUTR 644 - Micronutrients
  • NUTR 651 - Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring, and Surveillance

Past and current research projects involving global nutrition:

  • Acceptance of fish-enhanced and soy-enhanced supplemental snacks among pregnant women in rural Kenya
  • Validating the use natural spice antioxidants to preserve omega-3 content and prevent off-flavors in a fish product
  • “We now make our own money and decisions:” gender norms and food security in the Wakiso District of Uganda
  • Breastfeeding knowledge, attitude, and practices among mothers and community health workers in rural Kenya
  • Increasing animal foods in diets of HIV-infected Kenyan women and their children

Children in Africa