Food, Lifestyle and Health

At a Glance

Program Overview

Through hands-on inquiry into the science of nutrition and our current health landscape, students will delve into the diabetes epidemic as an embodiment of various social, biological, behavioral, and environmental factors.  The journey into this multi-dimensional and timely public health issue will span biological, social, historical, economic, nutritional, health and policy domains.  What is the connection between food and health? In what ways is obesity closely linked to type 2 diabetes? What exactly is diabetes and what is its socioeconomic impact? How have we as a society responded to this growing public health issue? What are the policy implications and how do we understand them?  What are some effective strategies for combating this growing health concern at the individual level?  At the family and community level?  At the level of social and health policy?

Exploration will entail additional inquiry through weekly hands-on food labs where students will participate in menu planning, food selection, cooking, as well as food sampling.  Students will learn the physiology of how diet and exercise can curb the rising prevalence of diabetes and the role of prevention in the care of chronic health conditions.  

Through the lens of diabetes and obesity, students will explore the health landscape more broadly and gain insight into current "healthy environments", including how we are - or are not - addressing citizens' health needs.  Students will use a social determinants of health lens to critically analyze how our systems and environments (e.g. health care, food, schools, built environment/neighborhoods, community organizations and more) are situated within a context of local, national, and global inequities and struggles for justice.

Students will participate in regular guest lectures and interactions with community programs to gain valuable insight and hands-on experience in dealing with these issues.  Throughout the JBS, students will gain knowledge and skills applicable to a wide array of present health and health care issues preparing them for a career that addresses the impact of health in all sectors of society.

BISC 4bj: Food, Nutrition and Health
BISC 10aj: Diabetes
HSSP 120bj: Health Care Landscapes