On a
world scale there’s an enormous variation in for instance the dietary habits and in
the health and the epidemiology the methodology and in the approaches and the knowledge to
study the link between what our daily life is and how it relates to the health of people. As an epidemiologist you always want to find
out like a detective who did it. So you want to know what is causing a certain
disease in a certain population. So why do people get the disease and why do
other people not get that same disease? So ultimately to come up with a policy to
reduce that risk of the disease in a population. So from epidemiology to public health. Wageningen University offers a programme on
nutritional epidemiology and public health, because it is in fact at the end of the food chain. Wageningen has a lot of experience in food
production and distribution, etc. over the populations. But in the end, it is the consumer who chooses
its daily diet and some have a wider array of products where they can choose from, and
others have a very limited and restricted array of foods. But that’s what determines the nutrients they
get and the health implications of that. The programme is build of two main parts. One is, I would call science and the other
society. The science part is really about the facts and figures on diet, health, and disease, the methods to study it, the study designs, the assessment methodologies, etc. The other side is the society part and that is about for whom are you doing it. For what population groups? Children? Pregnant women? Elderly? Does it matter to society, the research? The challenge is to connect this to your own place in the end and to reflect on this in the international context of this course. For instance, if you are a health officer And I am taking this example, because we just had two master students from Tanzania who are both health officers in different districts in Tanzania. They want to do something about what they see, this increasing risk of breast cancer in their areas. So when you set up a study like that you need to know about internal validity, about external validity, about confounding, about effect modification, all the possibilities and pitfalls of epidemiology. The master programme is an online programme and that means that you can study it from home from your home country and you have to visit Wageningen only once or twice during the whole programme. There are a lot of different methods to help you learning in this programme. At the one hand there is a lot of individual learning, so for example you can watch knowledge clips where certain concepts are explained. But there is also a lot of interaction between you and other students who will participate in the programme. At the international part of this master, you will learn to collaborate with others, and to learn from different solutions because of different circumstances. And that is very relevant to public health and making things work in practice.

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