Synchronous: Nutritional Epidemiology

Course Description

Nutritional epidemiology is a subdiscipline of epidemiology that aims to determine the role of nutrition in the etiology of disease status or health outcomes. This course will provide class participants with an understanding of the key components of nutritional epidemiology, including assessment of dietary intake, quantification and characterization of nutritional exposure, study design, and statistical analysis of the diet-disease relationship. Examples from the literature and a hypothetical study will be used to illustrate various aspects of nutritional epidemiology.

Course Objectives

The overall objective of this Nutritional Epidemiology course is to enable participants of the course to investigate relationships between diet and health outcomes. By the end of the course, participants will be able to

  • Use appropriate tools to assess and monitor the nutritional status of populations.
  • Design studies to examine the role of nutrition in the etiology of disease
  • Develop quantitative skills required for the evaluation of diet and disease relationships
  • Identify beneficial dietary components or habits, and create and implement evidence-based nutrition strategies to improve health in populations
  • Acquire knowledge regarding the mechanisms by which diet can influence health.


None, but some introductory knowledge in epidemiology and biostatistics will be helpful.

Course Reading List


Nutritional Epidemiology (Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics) 3rd Edition by Walter Willett. Oxford University Press; 3 edition (November 7, 2012) ISBN-10: 9780199754038



  • Kipnis V. Structure of Dietary Measurement Error: Results of the OPEN Biomarker Study. Am J Epidemiol 2003;158(1):14-21
  • Cade JE. Measuring diet in the 21st century: use of new technologies. Proc Nutr Soc. 2017 Aug;76(3):276-282.
  • Willett WC. Adjustment for total energy intake in epidemiologic studies. AJCN 1997;65;1220S-8S
  • Bowman GL, Shannon J, Ho E, Traber MG, Frei B, Oken BS, Kaye JA, Quinn JF. Reliability and Validity of Food Frequency Questionnaire and Nutrient Biomarkers in Elders With and Without Mild Cognitive Impairment. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2011 Jan-Mar;25(1):49-57
  • Hoffmann K, Schulze MB, Schienkiewitz A, Nöthlings U, Boeing H. Application of a new statistical method to derive dietary patterns in nutritional epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 2004 May 15;159(10):935-44.
  • Gu Y, Vorburger RS, Gazes Y, Habeck CG, Stern Y, Luchsinger JA, Manly JJ, Schupf N, Mayeux R, Brickman AM. White matter integrity as a mediator in the relationship between dietary nutrients and cognition in the elderly. Ann Neurol. 2016 Jun;79(6):1014-25.


Yian Gu, PhD

Dr. Gu is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nueology at Columbia University. Dr. Gu received her MS. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Fudan University and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from New York University, after which she also completed a post-doctoral training in nutritional epidemiology of neurological diseases at Columbia Univeristy. She is currently the principal investigator of multiple ongoing studies aiming to understand the role of nutrition in cognitive/brain health in older adults. She is also interested in understanding the biological mechanisms for the nutrient-health outcome associations. For more detailed information about Dr. Gu’s previous and ongoing research, please visit

Course Fee

Early Discount Registration before April 1, 2023: $225.00

After April 1, 2023: $250.00


Online Course Format

The Zoom link for this live webinar course will be made available to course registrants prior to the start of class.

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