Nutritional Science

The Department of Nutritional Science focuses on the interplay between humans and their food in terms of health, food selection and metabolism in interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Research and Teaching

Nutritional research often focuses on the prevention of physical diseases. A special aspect of our research is the simultaneous consideration of physical and mental aspects of nutrition, especially with regard to depression, ADHD and overweight and obesity. In addition, we investigate questions on dietary behaviour and its determinants. We focus on the phase of life from childhood to young adulthood, so that the early phases of the development of chronic diseases are the main focus of our research. Our overall goal is to contribute to an evidence-based development of population-based nutrition recommendations and prevention concepts.

For our research, we draw on different types of studies and use, for example, data from observational studies, genome-wide association studies as well as nutrition intervention studies. A current research focus is the investigation of associations between vitamin D status, general nutrient supply, inflammation status and depressive symptoms. Currently, we are also investigating the effects of the Corona pandemic on nutritional behaviour. 

We carry out our projects in cooperation with various partners. At the University of Paderborn, for example, we work closely with the other working groups of the Institute for Nutrition, Consumption and Health as well as with Sports Science and Medicine, and outside the university with the German Nutrition Society (DGE) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

We prepare special topics of nutritional science in various study programs for the individual target groups and consider scientific and everyday aspects.

Teaching Nutritional Science

The teaching is characterised by the initiation and promotion of competences of future teachers through a combination of different learning opportunities such as classical lectures, seminars and practical courses in our "learning area".

In our “learning area”, a school kitchen with an integrated learning zone, we combine theory and practice of food processing and preparation.

The following practical seminars are offered:

"Experimental food and nutrition theory "

Here we take a scientific look at the processing and treatment of food and we discuss physical and chemical aspects of food preparation.

The experimental work in this seminar serves

- to deepen the understanding, especially from a scientific point of view, of the interrelationships in food and nutrition science.

- the ability to plan and carry out simple school experiments in the context of food and nutrition science, taking into account hygiene and safety regulations.


"Introduction to the practice of food preparation".

The focus is on the basics of personnel, workplace and food hygiene, principles of workplace design, correct application of dry and moist cooking methods and cutting techniques.

The students acquire basic knowledge and skills in the practice of food preparation and are able to plan and prepare simple meals and dishes themselves regarding health and sustainable aspects.

"Cultural Techniques of Food Preparation"

This seminar serves to deepen the principles and methods of food preparation and meal design.

The students create a relevant and situational selection of dishes, foods and recipes according to given criteria (taste, sustainability, budget, time). In particular, the aspects of work planning and organization as well as hygiene concepts are to be taken into account.