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Introduction to Public Health Nutrition

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1 Introduction to Public Health Nutrition
January 2011 Nutrition 531

2 What is Health?

3 Health A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease. WHO

4 What is Public Health?

5 Mission of Public Health
“…to fulfill society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy.” IOM. Future of Public Health.

6 Population Health Improving Everyone’s Quality of Life: Group Health Foundation, 2001

7 Population Health Considers a broad set of options for improving and sustaining health Highlights role of social and economic forces in combination with biological and environmental factors Results in benefits to all

8 Public Health Practice Compared to Clinical Nutrition Practice
Public Health Practice Clinical Nutrition Practice Focus Prevention Disease treatment Target Populations Individuals Setting States & Communities Clinics & Hospitals Strategies Multiple, Reinforcing Counseling and education

9 Core Functions of Public Health


11 Assessment Assess the problems and needs of the population
Monitor the health of populations Assess and monitor the determinants of population health

12 Policy Development Develop policies, programs and activities that address health outcomes and the determinants of those outcomes

13 Assurance Assure the implementation of effective strategies by providing or monitoring policies, activities, and services.

14 What About Nutrition?

15 Mission of Public Health Nutrition
To assure conditions in which people have access to adequate and appropriate food. To assure conditions in which people can achieve optimal nutritional health.

16 Leading Causes of Death, 1900
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System and unpublished data

17 Leading Causes of Death, 1997
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System and unpublished data


19 10 Essential Public Health Services: Public Health Functions Steering Committee - State and Local
Monitor Health Status to identify community health problems Diagnose and investigate health problems Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety

20 Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable Assure a competent public health and personal heath care workforce Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based public health services Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

21 Brief History of Public Health Nutrition

22 Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Safer and Healthier Foods (MMWR )
“During the early 20th century, contaminated food, milk, and water caused many foodborne infections, including typhoid fever, tuberculosis, botulism, and scarlet fever.” “Once the sources and characteristics of foodborne diseases were identified--long before vaccines or antibiotics--they could be controlled by handwashing, sanitation, refrigeration, pasteurization, and pesticide application. Healthier animal care, feeding, and processing also improved food supply safety.”


24 “The discovery of essential nutrients and their roles in disease prevention has been instrumental in almost eliminating nutritional deficiency diseases such as goiter, rickets, and pellagra in the United States.”


26 “During , with the implementation of a statewide prevention program, the goiter rate in Michigan fell from 38.6% to 9.0 %.” “In 1921, rickets was considered the most common nutritional disease of children, affecting approximately 75% of infants in New York City.”



29 Last Decade: Strong Emphasis on Policy & Environmental Change

30 Healthy People 2020 Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Overarching Goals Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death. Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups. Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all. Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

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