Summer school

Healthy and Sustainable Diets: synergies and trade-offs (3 days)

1st International Master class to broaden disciplinary thinking in agriculture, food sciences, nutrition and health to arrive at a disciplinary research perspective on healthy and sustainable diets. It aims to contribute to synergy between scientific disciplines, applied research and stakeholders along the food supply chain.

Organised by Organised by the Graduate School VLAG, in co-operation with the Division of Human Nutrition and the Food Quality and Design Group, Wageningen University & Research; co-funded by the Wageningen University Global One Health programme

Mon 3 July 2017 until Wed 5 July 2017

Course Introduction

The global burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs, e.g. obesity, diabetes, CVD, malignancies), infectious diseases (e.g. malaria, measles) and the ‘double burden of disease’ in both Western and Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC) call for optimizing the intake of nutrient-dense plant foods relative to animal-sourced foods. Because of the current climate concerns and the growing world population this should go hand-in-hand with reducing the environmental footprint of plant- & animal-based food production, processing and distribution systems (e.g., GHG-emissions, land use).

These societal challenges are recognized by governments and food chain actors at national and global level. For research, this requires evaluation of synergies and trade-offs between health, environment and other functions of the food system. A system approach is needed, that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration and involvement of societal actors in the food chain and at various policy levels.

What you will learn

After the course, the participants will have a state of the art overview of the field of nutritional science. They will have basic skills in applying different study designs and methodologies (both established and new techniques) in the field of nutritional science. This course will also provide a framework to integrate knowledge from different disciplines in nutrition.

Meet the lecturers

Prof. Timothy Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University

Course Design

The course comprises 4.5 days (9.00-18.00 h). The programme consists of keynote lectures, followed by a series of lectures, practicals and workshops. In addition, attendees make an assignment during the course in which they discuss and apply the obtained knowledge. The subject matter covers research on cellular, individual and population level. The focus of this year's course is on global nutrition, that is Western as well as non-western nutrition. Moreover, nutrition research will be approached from a reductionist’s point of view, i.e. nutrient focussed, as well as a more holistic, whole diet, point of view.


Basic scientific knowledge on concepts and methods and study designs in qualitative and quantitative research is assumed.

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