Food and Quality of Life


Course Objective

• Be familiar with main concepts of nutrition science relevant for FNS
• Understand the relation between diets and quality of life outcomes:
physical, mental and social;
• Understand (behavioural/environmental reasons for food choices;
• Understand differences in food intake/outcome between social groups;
• Be able to collect and analyze data regarding food intake and
• Be able to critically reflect and communicate on contemporaneous FNS
quality of life issues, such as the ‘balanced diet’.

Course Content

Food and nutrition security are quintessential to quality of life. This
course introduces basic health and nutrition science principles to zoom
in on the effect of food on individual wellbeing: a balanced diet can
contribute to prevent diseases and improve cure rates, improve
productivity and nutrition is an important aspect of social relations
and wellbeing. The course starts by understanding the composition of
nutrition (e.g. what are macro/micro nutrients) and the basic metabolism
processes in the body. Thereafter we relate food intake to the concept
of a healthy diet and quality nutrition. This student will learn to
conduct research into food intake (food frequency questionnaires / 24
hour recalls/food diaries). Thereafter we will relate the food intake to
specific health outcomes and conduct basic quantitative analysis into
these. The emphasis is on outcomes in relation to health, here we will
go into basic measurements such as BMI, stunting, wasting. We will also
assess how food intake will contribute to improved educational
attainment and labor productivity. Students will further understand how
foods, even those that contribute to ill health, may positively affect
individuals social life’s and their quality of life. Lastly we will also
explore how individuals make decision in relation to food intake.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, workgroups, practicals, peer review

Method of Assessment

Exam (60%), assignments (30%), presentation (10%)

Entry Requirements

The minor is designed for students from all disciplines. The
interdisciplinary nature of the minor broadens the ‘more disciplinary’
perspective taught to students in the major.


Book chapters, articles, lectures and other literature made available on

Target Audience

The main target population is all third year VU bachelor students.
Students outside the VU will also be targeted, such as at UvA. Because
the minor is interdisciplinary, the minor should also be of interest for
economics and health sciences students. We specifically aim for a
diverse group as we strongly believe that interdisciplinary research is
best taught through active interaction between students from different
disciplinary backgrounds.

Recommended background knowledge

Preferably studetns either have followed the first two courses of the
minor or have Insights into nutrition sciences and basic statistical

General Information

Course Code E_MG_FQL
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. D.R. Essink
Examiner dr. D.R. Essink
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Computer lab, Study Group, Lecture, Practical
Target audiences

This course is also available as: