Nutritional Epidemiology


Epidemiology is an essential component of knowledge and crucial in the field of nutrition. It presents some specific characteristics and requires therefore specific training of students of nutrition.
With this Curricular Unit we intend to lay the foundation for students to understand the power of contribution to the health, development of pathologies and therapeutic interventions, to learn epidemiological methods to enable them in the future designing and developing independently research and intervention projects, increase their knowledge and their critical ability regarding published research results, make them autonomous in placing scientific issues, recognize the limitations of the evidence on which are based many procedures in the field of nutrition, enhance the taste for curiosity, study and knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Doutora Helena Canhão


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





• Kenneth Rothman, Epidemiology: An Introduction. Oxford University Press
• Robert Fletcher, Clinical Epidemiology.
• Walter Willett, Nutritional Epidemiology.

Teaching method

Total number of CU hours - 112 hours: 42 h of lessons and 70 h of research, private study and development / monitoring of a project.
The 42 contact hours are distributed in lectures (14 h) aimed at structuring the knowledge and theoretical-practical (28 h) enable the application.
14 lectures of 50 minutes each, during the semester.
14 theoretical and practical lessons 2x50min each.
Shall be provided: electronically pdf format presentations, suggested web addresses and textbooks.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of CU will take into account:
• Continuous assessment based on attendance and participation in class T and TP (10%);
• Final exam (50%)
• Report and oral presentation where the student demonstrates that they understood the objectives and the methods used and were familiar with the research process (40%).

Subject matter

Nutritional epidemiology (NE) and clinical epidemiology; Dependent variables and independent variables; Outcomes measures and Measures of Association; Tests and statistical models; Confounders, Bias, modifier Effect, Interaction, Colinearity; Design, implementation and conduct of research studies; Observational studies; Intervention Studies; Instruments and scales; systematic review of the literature; Meta-analyzes; Measurement of food intake; Biological markers for assessing the nutritional intake and nutritional status; Sample size and power of the study; Ethics in human research.

Lab sessions
STATA exercises; Evaluation and discussion of scientific articles; How to make a presentation; scientific projects evaluation and design; seminars on nutrition and clinical epidemiology applied to some specific diseases and conditions.
In addition to the 42h of lessons, students should develop or join / follow an observational or experimental project in the area of NE.


Programs where the course is taught: