Nutritional Epidemiology


The program in Nutrition Epidemiology is part of a comprehensive doctoral program in the Department of Nutrition at UNC-CH, where nutrition has status as a department in the School of Public Health and the Medical School. All students obtain a basic understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the links between food and nutrient intake and the development of disease and maintenance of health; current theories of behavior change and their application to dietary change interventions; the principles for designing and analyzing cross-sectional, prospective, case-control studies, and clinical trials; and the policy implications of population-level dietary change efforts.

The Division of Nutrition Epidemiology is designed to provide training to students of nutrition interested in determining the contribution (protective and detrimental) of dietary-related factors to the development of diseases, analyzing the role of nutrition in growth and development, understanding the determinants and consequences of nutritional trends, and trying to intervene at the population level to change diets. Unique features include training which focuses on the integration of biological and social science approaches to problems related to diet and health, longitudinal research techniques, diet and physical activity methodology, anthropometry, measurement error technique, and a wide range of applications of skills to all phases of the life cycle. Research outcomes range from behaviors such as diet and physical activity to body composition as well as various measures of disease and health status, including mortality measures. Extensive training in epidemiology and biostatistics and strong links with other research centers in the cancer (Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center), health services (Sheps Center), health promotion and disease prevention (HPDP center), and population(Carolina Population Center) areas are cornerstones of this training program.

Do you want to pick your job in the future? Nutrition Epidemiology’s last two graduates got four wonderful job offers and two post doctoral offers. Monthly we get requests from 2-4 Nutrition Departments, food and pharmaceutical industries, and institutions looking for graduates from our Division. Why? Our training program is unique! Our multidisciplinary faculty and student body provide a wide-range of intellectual experiences and set of skills that will provide you entry to a most exciting new world.