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MS in Nutrition Education: Course Descriptions

Nutrition Courses from American University

The online Master of Science in Nutrition Education from American University delivers the most relevant courses to help you understand the current challenges and solutions facing nutrition education today.

Nutrition, HFIT 645
The role of nutrition in maintaining health and physical fitness is studied in relation to the responsibilities and opportunities of a nutrition educator. Current food myths, diets for those in athletic programs, and special needs of overweight and underweight clients are included.

Lifecycle Nutrition, HFIT 610
This course explores the role of nutrition through the entire life span. Beginning with conception, pregnancy, early childhood feeding, adolescence, adulthood and the elderly, each life cycle is discussed with an understanding of the physiological changes and their implications for nutritional factors. Special emphasis is placed on using this information in nutritional education programming. Prerequisite: HFIT 645.

Nutrition Education Methods I, HFIT 630
In this course students explore the current status of nutrition and nutrition education, specifically in the United States, and identify the factors that influence nutrition status. Students learn to perform a needs assessment, and design and implement educational strategies. Prerequisite: HFIT 645 & HFIT 610.

Nutrition Education Methods II, HFIT 640
This course is the second in a two-part sequence designed to develop knowledge and understanding of effective instruction in nutrition education. The course focuses on the development of instructional methodologies, content area knowledge used to understand assessment and evaluation in a number of settings.

Changing Health Behavior, HFIT 650
This course provides students with an overview of the theory and application for assisting individuals and groups change lifestyle behaviors related to health promotion. Includes cognitive behavior techniques changing lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, obesity, stress, or diet for the reduction of chronic disease risk. Students deepen their understanding of select theories and practices necessary for effective health behavior change.

Health Communication, HFIT 540
This course addresses distinct forms of delivering health promotion messages to consumers, professionals, and large groups through various communication methods and social marketing. The course is divided into three modules, covering health coaching, mass health communication, and consumer health writing and public speaking. Students have the opportunity to coach individuals, advocate for a health issue, or give a presentation on a health-related topic.

Multicultural Health, HFIT 660
In this course students investigate gender and cultural issues affecting health. Emphasis is on health disparities and how gender and cultural indicators affect behavioral risk. The relationship between health and other factors such as religion, social class/socioeconomic status, acculturation, migration and globalization is also studied.

Nutrition Epidemiology & Research Methods, HFIT 625
In this course students learn how to design, implement and analyze studies involving nutrition-disease associations. Research methods and its challenges are assessed in relation to epidemiology, focusing specifically on food and nutrition.

Elective Courses

Global Nutrition, HFIT 535
This course surveys the nature and scope of leading nutritional issues and problems throughout the world, with an emphasis on developing countries. It includes consideration of specific nutrient deficiencies, as well as nutrition-related aspects of infectious and chronic disease with an emphasis on the nutrition transition.

Sports Nutrition, HFIT 530
This course allows students to translate theory into practice and to relate content to fitness and sports. Included are topics on weight and body composition, eating disorders and guidelines through proper nutrition. The material covered gives students comprehensive knowledge of nutrition for use in complementary fields focusing on sport and exercise.

Health in the School Environment, HFIT 545
Examine the promotion of healthy behaviors and beliefs in the school setting for grades K-12 based on the Center for Disease Control's Division of Adolescent and School Health coordinated school health program model.

Vitamins and Minerals, HFIT 655
This course explores the role of vitamins and minerals in maintaining cellular health through biochemical and physiological mechanisms. Topics provide an in-depth view of specific vitamins and minerals as well as effective ways to translate this information toward efforts for prevention of chronic disease.

Strategies in Weight Control, HFIT 570
This course is designed to address the strategies used to assist in reversing the obesity epidemic. Students gain an understanding of the trends of obesity, risk factors associated with being overweight, and chronic disease patterns. Further, strategies of proper weight management are explored on an individual and societal level, looking at current diet trends and evaluating their health implications.

Capstone papers/projects in Nutrition Education Methods I and II, Multicultural Health and Health Communication

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