Syndemics in the New Era of Nutrition and Dietetics

Sunday, October 9
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (Eastern Time)
CE: 1.5
Level 3 (advanced knowledge/expertise)
Activity Code: 170525


The application of syndemics framework is vital to a critical systems’ approach to nutrition and dietetics. A syndemic is when two or more epidemics interact in time and place and share common underlying societal drivers, including climate crisis, sustainability, conflict, inequity and inequality – all of which are adding layers of complexity, interconnection and novelty to epidemics. Hunger, malnutrition, obesity, and COVID constitute key epidemics challenging current practice of nutrition and dietetics. The purpose of this session is to apply the syndemic framework to such epidemics, with a focus on global hunger and malnutrition. The session aims at debating the global status quo of hunger where despite billions spent each year on humanitarian and development assistance, and tremendous efforts of organizations, what we are doing is no longer sufficient to achieve a world of Zero Hunger. The session will navigate global environments and will examine how nutrition and dietetics practice must evolve for 2022 and beyond while challenging how we think and interrogate our roles in solving and perpetuating hunger, and identify new ways to engage with one another.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess the current evidence on the hunger pandemic within the context of conflicts, covid-19, climate crisis, politics, policy, diplomacy, technology, and equity as determinants of hunger and malnutrition
  • Apply the syndemic model in population health to hunger and malnutrition with a focus on biological-biological and the biological-social interfaces
  • Apply critical thinking to the debate between the traditional approach of food distribution to eradicate hunger compared with provocative approaches where the syndemic concept act as the binder between the biological, social, and anthropological determinants of health and disease

Performance Indicators:

  • 1.7.6 Applies knowledge of health determinants when planning, developing and implementing services, programs, interventions,
    meal plans and menus.
  • 2.3.4 Identifies opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals or organizations with shared visions
  • 4.2.4 Investigates alternative explanations for deficits or challenges and considers alternative methods and provides justification for
    selected option(s).