Education and Training

We offer courses to advance the understanding of weight-related research for current students, along with training and fellowship programs aimed at weight-related health promotion.

Fellowships and Training

The MnOPT fellowship program is dedicated to providing innovative interdisciplinary training for the next generation of biologic, behavioral, and clinical obesity prevention scientists. The program offers training to predoctoral (PhD) and postdoctoral fellows. MnOPT is a NIH/NIDDK–Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Institutional Research Training Grant. Find out more and apply to be a MN OPT Fellow.

Find training and fellowship programs for researchers interested in advancing their knowledge of nutrition and healthy weight research.


We offer coursework that will help students become more acquainted with healthy population weights, as well as more advanced coursework to prepare them for a career in research. The following select courses are offered through the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus. Some courses are offered online, as indicated below.

FALL | Online course | 2.0 credit
This course provides an introduction to the epidemiology of weight-related problems among young people. Assumptions of the course include (1) the prevention of excess weight gain in childhood is an important public health issue and (2) making changes to help pediatric populations maintain overall weight-related health will lead to reduced rates of associated pediatric health problems as well as chronic diseases of adulthood. With this perspective, strategies and policies to protect the weight-related health of children and adolescents are needed. There will be extensive discussion of the social-ecological factors that influence weight-related health and implications for the development of interventions and policies.

 SPRING | Online course | 1.0 credit
This course provides an overview of federal, state, and local policy approaches and national initiatives for the promotion of healthy eating and activity among young people and their families. Specific examples of relevant policies directed at individuals, organizations, and communities are discussed.

SPRING | 2.0 credits
This course examines obesity and eating disorders at individual, social, environmental, and policy levels. Etiology, measurement and prevalence; treatment and prevention interventions are examined at the individual, group, and community level. Links between eating disorders and obesity are explored.

SPRING | 2.0 credits
This course provides students with the tools for developing community nutrition interventions. Using behavioral therapy, conducting needs assessments, writing program objectives, developing intervention strategies, evaluating program implementation/effectiveness, planning a budget, writing grant proposals.

FALL, SUMMER, offered periodically | 3.0 credits
This course provides an overview of nutrition issues affecting pregnant and postpartum women, females of reproductive age, infants, children and adolescents. The course integrates public health practice and policy recommendations with evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to provide a comprehensive view and maternal and child health nutrition issues seen by practitioners in community settings.

SPRING | 2.0 credits
Issues in nutrition and public health. How nutrition research is translated into dietary recommendations for public health. Relation of nutrition to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

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