Xikombiso Gertrude Mbhenyane (Stellenbosch University)


From 12:45
to 17:30
From 12:45
to 17:30

Course description
The aim is to provide a comprehensive understanding of what is still an emerging field of study and practice. This Course will enable the student to read the emerging literature on food environment and nutrition, health critically and to develop a well-grounded perspective of how to contribute to these debates practically and professionally. Three fundamental questions will be addressed: First, how can the food environment be defined and conceptualised in a way that captures the key dimensions that shape food choices, food acquisition and consumption globally? Second, how can existing knowledge and evidence from High Income Countries be leveraged to accelerate food environment research in Low Middle-Income Countries? Third, what are the main challenges and opportunities in doing so?

The course will focus on:
• Comprehensive understanding about the relationship between Food Environment Nutrition, and Heath
• Comprehensive understanding about the relationship between climate change, health and nutrition; and
• Detailed understanding of climate change and food and nutrition security with particular reference to southern Africa.

Course Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, you will:
• Understand the concept of environmental influence on food choices.
• Understand the relationship between food environment, nutrition and health outcomes.
• The role of gender in mediating some environmental health factors.
• Understand the relationship between climate change, food environment, health and nutrition.
• Understand the debates and disagreements about these relationships and the extent of the impact on health outcomes.
• Understand the multiple ways that climate change will impact nutrition, not only through health but also through wider impacts on the broader environment including agriculture and food production and commercialisation.
• Understand how underlying vulnerability in southern Africa, exacerbated by health risks, has been exposed by climate impacts with ramifications for nutrition and health outcomes.
• Understand the practical challenges facing the Global Health organisations in addressing these challenges.

Teaching and evaluation methods
I will use a variety of methods guided by the problem-based learning approach, for teaching.
• Lecture Mode.
• Problem Solving.
• Role Playing.
• Group Work.

For evaluation:
• 1 Chat/debate online on Moodle on a topic or Case study or article I will provide.
• 1 written assignment
Grading will be 50% for each assignment.



Introductory Webinar
Word of Welcome
• Introductions and getting to know each other.
• Course aims and Outcomes, Mode of Teaching and Assignments.
• Expectations of students
• Group allocation
Mode: Virtual
Period: Second week, July


Week One
Lecture 1 Concepts and definition of food environment - Lecture and Discussion
Lecture 2 The Food Environmental Impacts on Nutrition and Health - Group work and discussion, debates


Week Two
Lecture 1 Food Environments and impacts on non-communicable disease Food Environments, Food Choices, and Healthy diets - Lecture and discussion; Case studies
Assignment one
Lecture 2 A Debate and discussion - Students are allocated Themes.


Week Three
Lecture 1 Creating enabling food environments means ensuring sustainable food and healthy diets. Food environments and w the adoption of healthy, tasty, sustainable eating patterns. - Group work and debate
Lecture 2 Why food environment matters for Nutrition and Health? - Group work and debate


Week Four
Field Trip of three and half hours To Observe Food Environments and behavior of people
• Retail Food Environment
• School Food Environment
• Community Food environment/ Marketing

Closing Lecture Reflection on expectations, Course and Evaluation - Discussion

Assignment two - Topic will be given and placed on Moodle
Written Submission on 25 August



Baseline Activity

Familiarise yourself with Climate change and Food Environmental issues by reading:
• Climate change - World Health Organization.
• SDG 12. Climate Action | Climate Change Solutions.
• Climate change and health - World Health Organization,

Required preliminary knowledge.
1. Willett, W., Rockström, J., Loken, B., Springmann, M., Lang, T., Vermeulen, S., Garnett, T., Tilman, D., DeClerck, F., Wood, A. and Jonell, M., 2019. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet, 393(10170), pp.447-492.
2. Béne, C., Fanzo, J., Haddad, L., Hawkes, C., Caron, P., Vermeulen, S., Herrero, M. and Oosterveer, P., 2020. Five priorities to operationalize the EAT–Lancet Commission report. Nature Food, 1(8), pp.457-459.
3. Mattioli, D., Loconto, A.M. and Brunori, G., 2020. Healthy diets and the retail food environment: A sociological approach. Health & place, 61, p.102244.




1. Brouwer, I.D., McDermott, J. and Ruben, R., 2020. Food systems everywhere: Improving relevance in practice. Global Food Security, 26, p.100398.
2. Chen, C., Chaudhary, A. and Mathys, A., 2019. Dietary change scenarios and implications for environmental, nutrition, human health and economic dimensions of food sustainability. Nutrients, 11(4), p.856.
3. Fanzo, J., Bellows, A.L., Spiker, M.L., Thorne-Lyman, A.L. and Bloem, M.W., 2021. The importance of food systems and the environment for nutrition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 113(1), pp.7-16.
4. Mah, C.L., Luongo, G., Hasdell, R., Taylor, N.G. and Lo, B.K., 2019. A systematic review of the effect of retail food environment interventions on diet and health with a focus on the enabling role of public policies. Current Nutrition Reports, 8, pp.411-428.
5. Rodgers, G.P. and Collins, F.S., 2020. Precision nutrition—the answer to “what to eat to stay healthy”. Jama, 324(8), pp.735-736.
6. Romanello, M., McGushin, A., Di Napoli, C., Drummond, P., Hughes, N., Jamart, L., Kennard, H., Lampard, P., Rodriguez, B.S., Arnell, N. and Ayeb-Karlsson, S., 2021. The 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: code red for a healthy future. The Lancet, 398(10311), pp.1619-1662.
7. Steiner, A., Aguilar, G., Bomba, K., Bonilla, J.P., Campbell, A., Echeverria, R., Gandhi, R., Hedegaard, C., Holdorf, D., Ishii, N. and Quinn, K.M., 2020. Actions to transform food systems under climate change (No. 138-2021-1490).
8. Turner, C., Kalamatianou, S., Drewnowski, A., Kulkarni, B., Kinra, S. and Kadiyala, S., 2020. Food environment research in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic scoping review. Advances in Nutrition, 11(2), pp.387-397.
9. Vandevijvere, S., Barquera, S., Caceres, G., Corvalan, C., Karupaiah, T., Kroker‐Lobos, M.F., L'Abbé, M., Ng, S.H., Phulkerd, S., Ramirez‐Zea, M. and Rebello, S.A., 2019. An 11‐country study to benchmark the implementation of recommended nutrition policies by national governments using the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index, 2015‐2018. Obesity Reviews, 20, pp.57-66.
10. Watts, N., Amann, M., Arnell, N., Ayeb-Karlsson, S., Beagley, J., Belesova, K., Boykoff, M., Byass, P., Cai, W., Campbell-Lendrum, D. and Capstick, S., 2021. The 2020 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: responding to converging crises. The Lancet, 397(10269), pp.129-170.



Last updated: April 24, 2023


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