Aberdeen to train more public health nutritionists

Aberdeen to train more public health nutritionists

Aberdeen is preparing to meet the need for more people trained in public health nutrition to tackle the rise in obesity and chronic dietary disease.

The University of Aberdeen is launching a brand new MSc degree in Public Health Nutrition which will deliver more nutritionists to work in national and international agencies, health promotion, industry and health care, or who may wish to carry out further research in public health nutrition.

The new postgraduate course - beginning this September - will focus on the relationships between diet, health and disease.

Its launch demonstrates Aberdeen's reputation as a world class centre for both research and teaching in nutrition following the recent merger between the University and the then Rowett Research Institute.

The MSc has been developed Dr Lindsey Masson, Dr Geraldine McNeill and Dr Frank Thies.

Dr Masson, Lecturer in Human Nutrition Epidemiology and registered Public Health Nutritionist, said: "There is a need for more people trained in public health nutrition who can carry out more research into diet and disease and who can help try to prevent the rise in obesity and chronic dietary related diseases.

"We also need more people who can evaluate the strategies that are already in place to try to tackle these health problems."

Dr Geraldine McNeill, Head of the Public Health Nutrition research group at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, said: "Aberdeen has a long history of research on nutrition and health which benefits from the close links between biological scientists, clinicians and public health practitioners.

"We are looking forward to building on this expertise to train a new generation of public health nutritionists who can contribute to knowledge and practice in this field."

The new degree will explore the relationship between diet and chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease as well as dietary influences on health in early and later life. The content of the course will be relevant to students from both developed and developing countries.

Students will be taught about the measurement of dietary intake, energy balance and metabolism, assessment of nutritional status and body composition, along with tools for research such as computing and applied statistics. The design and evaluation of diet and lifestyle interventions and the development of nutrition policy will also be addressed.

Entrance requirements will be a second class honours degree or equivalent in biological sciences such as biochemistry, physiology, nutrition or medicine.

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact the Graduate School (College of Life Sciences and Medicine) on 01224 559971 or email graduateschool-clsm@abdn.ac.uk