241387 Community-engaged learning on food systems and public health

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:20 PM

Julie Self, MPH , Nutrition and Health Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Corey McAuliffe , Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Amy Webb-Girard, PhD , Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
A student-driven, engaged-learning course on Determinants and Health Impact of Food Choices was developed at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health to explore the relationships between personal food choices, food systems and policy, public health and sustainability. Nutrients, rather than food, are emphasized in public health education. However, food preferences, systems and policies play an important role in the health of individuals and communities, as well as through indirect environmental, economic and social impacts. The course addresses food system sustainability by exploring environmental, economic and social issues in the context of public health. The vision of the Emory Sustainability Initiative guided the development and activities of the course. Course objectives, curriculum and assignments were determined by the students and faculty with insight from community partners. Learning modules include individual food preference, food and agriculture systems, food access and justice, and food policy. The class received a grant from Emory's Office of University and Community Partnerships to facilitate community research and collaboration with community partners. Students' community projects integrate classroom learning with practical experience, community engagement and service. Projects entailed mapping conventional and alternative food systems in metro Atlanta and characterizing strategies for providing and accessing healthy and sustainable food through various systems. The class will host a symposium in which project findings will be presented to Emory, community partners and the broader community; as well as support initiatives by Georgia Organics and the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how sustainability informed the development of a public health course on food systems and food policy. Explain how engaged learning through research conducted community-partnerships can be integrated in public health nutrition course. Using DeKalb County as an example, discuss how food producers and managers approach issues of accessibility, acceptability, and availability of healthy and sustainable foods in marginalized communities.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student in Nutrition and have an MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. I have experience with course development and community-based research. My area of research involved food systems, policy and food-based agricultural interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.