Although the phrases “nutrition in public health,” “nutrition and public health,” and “public health nutrition” sound as if they are synonymous, subtle but important differences exist among these phrases.
On the one hand, “nutrition and public health” suggests the coexistence of the fields of nutrition and public health, although not necessarily as equal partners.
On the other hand, “nutrition in public health” refers to the discipline of nutrition that functions as a branch of the vast field of public health.
Closely related to “nutrition in public health” is “public health nutrition,” which refers to the population-focused branch of public health that monitors diet, nutrition status and health, and food and nutrition programs, and provides a leadership role in applying public health principles to activities that lead to health promotion and disease prevention through policy development and environmental changes. This definition of public health nutrition represents a distillation of the competencies for public health nutrition that were suggested by national and international leaders in the field.
Nevertheless, I use all three phrases interchangeably in this book.