HAR6214: Nutrition in the Global South

The Nutrition in the Global South module is led by Robert Akparibo. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.


The Nutrition in the Global South module is led by Robert Akparibo. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is not available as a DDP module


The aim of this module is to promote an interest and understanding of the nutritional issues particularly facing countries in the Global South, through considering the nutritional situation in low and middle income countries with respect to food availability and consumption at all levels.

Key topics encompass malnutrition in all its forms (micronutrient deficiencies and undernutrition, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases).

It will explore the relationships between deficiency states with infection and growth, food security, the trend to urbanisation and the broad range of factors that influence food intake and nutritional status, e.g. socio-cultural and physical/financial access as well as climate change and global food systems.

A range of learning methods will help students to understand how nutritional status in the Global South could be improved.


This unit aims to provide an overview of the nutritional situation in the Global South including food security at all levels in the food system, assessment and prevention of undernutrition (underweight and micronutrient deficiencies) and overweight and diet-related non communicable diseases.

The causes and effects of all forms of malnutrition will be explored, enabling students to identify short and long term strategies to address them.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise how food and nutrient requirements change throughout the life course, with special emphasis intakes and requirements of those living in low and middle-income countries.
  2. Identify and critically discuss the factors (agricultural, economic, health, physiological, psychosocial, climatic) that influence nutritional status in the Global South and describe how these interact.
  3. Compare and contrast the methods used to assess nutritional status throughout the life course in different contexts, e.g. the community, hospital and in refugee populations and interpret anthropometric data.
  4. Discuss the coping strategies commonly used by households in response to food insecurity and critically evaluate how these and other systems and indicators may be used to predict food shortages and famine.
  5. Identify the main causes of malnutrition in all its forms and identify workable short and long term strategies to monitor and address nutritional status.

Core competencies

The module covers core competencies required for accreditation of the MSc in Human Nutrition by the Association for Nutrition (AfN).

This module addresses in depth the following AfN core competencies:
CC1e, CC1i, CC1j, C1k, CC2a, CC2b, CC2d, CC2e, CC3a, CC3b, CC3c, CC3d, CC3f, CC3g, CC4e, CC4h

The module supports the learning of knowledge and acquisition of skills relating to aspects of the following AfN core competencies:
CC1d, CC1o, CC1q, Cc3e, Cc3i, CC4b, CC4g, CC5a, CC5c, CC5d, CC5e

Teaching methods

Although the majority of the content will be delivered through self-study and lectures, the formal delivery by the lecturer will be interspersed with informal group work and discussions.

In addition to PowerPoint, short films will be used to stimulate discussion. As there is a large volume of material to cover, interactive lectures are the main method used in this module to deliver learning outcomes 1-5.

There is one session which covers practical anthropometric skills used in low and middle income countries and the interpretation of the data (the latter is also covered during lectures) learning outcome 3.

Teaching will be supported by resources on the virtual learning environment.

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