Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S5, July 2013

Overcoming Economic Barriers to Implement International Nutrition Education in an Urban University


      The goal was to develop learning opportunities in our university curriculum that focused on international nutrition issues and behaviors.

      Target audience

      University honor students, freshmen, and dietetic students were the targeted recipients of the new international nutrition initiatives.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      The university curriculum offered limited exposure to international nutrition while interest in this area by our faculty, and current and future students was increasing. In an urban, state-funded university faced with budget reductions, program eliminations, and decreasing state revenues, implementing new initiatives was unlikely.


      Despite economic barriers at the university, opportunities surfaced to implement several international nutrition education curricula that included: a Global Issues course through the University Honors Program; a Global Nutrition course through the University Fresh Connections Initiative; and, several faculty-led Nutrition Study Abroad Programs through the University International Programs Office. The annual opportunity for faculty to submit proposals for consideration by these three programs (Honors, Fresh Connections, and International Programs) provided new venues that had previously been untapped by nutrition faculty. University Honors students now have lectures on World Hunger and Cultural Foods; freshmen may enroll in a Global Nutrition course; and, dietetic students may participate in an annual faculty-led Nutrition Study Abroad Program.


      Contrary to our expectations, the number of international nutrition education curricula can increase despite financial challenges at universities by thinking outside the box.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Identifying existing university resources that were previously untapped enabled the expansion of international nutrition education at one university.