Public Health Nutrition (PHN) is committed to promoting health and well-being of populations through sustainable improvements in the food and nutrition system. In April 2017, the discipline of Public Health Nutrition was established at this university through a new research group (Head: Professor Anette Buyken).
Public Health Nutrition focuses on the research of the primary preventive potential of nutrition in the development of diet-related diseases. In order to exploit the short- and long-term preventive potential of nutrition with regard to the physical and mental health it is necessary to pursue an evidence based research method which covers the analysis of potential risk factors as well as the development and evaluation of appropriate preventative measures. To this end, the research group Public Health Nutrition conducts epidemiological research on the basis of existing data (evaluations and systematic reviews) and investigates short-term effects of meals on health outcomes (e.g. blood glucose, cognition). This will give rise to future projects to be conducted in school settings. Setting approaches deal with the “living world” of populations, in other words, the environment in which people live, learn and eat.. Conceptually, health promotion in settings implies a comprehensive approach and recognizes health problems as being linked to the interaction between personal lifestyle and the environment.
In the field of education, the research group Public Health Nutrition is responsible for the newly introduced degree program “Lehramt an Gymnasien und Gesamtschulen mit dem Unterrichtsfach Ernährungslehre.” This program has a special focus on increasing future teachers’ awareness of the opportunities of preventative measures aimed at environmental changes in their own settings and encouraging them to develop future initiatives together with their pupils.