Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Julie Woods and Ms Claire Palermo


The historical, cultural, structural and social contexts of food will be examined using a sociological perspective to more fully understand the motivations for food choice. The topics include food consumption trends, multinational food companies and fast food chains, globalisation, the interdependence of food production and the environment, and the politics of food. The linking of cultural and social identity with food choices will be examined, noting the increasing cultural diversity of food choices for Australians and the differences identified by social class and personal beliefs. The health, nutritional and social aspects of obesity, body image and disordered eating will be included.


At the completion of the unit students will have an understanding of:

  1. the sociological perspectives of why Australians eat the way they do;

  1. the social context in which food is produced and consumed;

  1. the links between global food policy, public policy in Australia and the social patterning of food consumption;

  1. the health implications of changing food consumption patterns within the social context, the drivers for change and the role of government in this area; and

  1. critical analysis of the current controversial areas of food and nutrition with development of skills to critically assess the literature.


Examination: 50%
Food related exercise (500 words): 10%
Group Assignment: 10%
Essay (2000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Claire Palermo

Contact hours

3 hours per week (lectures and tutorials).


Must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics.