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Public Health Nutr. 2018 Jun;21(9):1771-1780. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017004207. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Education, practical training and professional development for public health practitioners: a scoping review of the literature and insights for sustainable food system capacity-building.

Author information

1
School of Nutrition,Ryerson University,350 Victoria Street,Toronto,Ontario,Canada,M5B 2K3.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Noting the upstream positioning of sustainable food systems (SFS) to multiple global crises, the present review described examples of emerging and promising practices to support SFS-oriented education, practical training (PT) and continuing professional development (CPD) among trainees and public health practitioners (PHP). A secondary objective was to compile the evidence into practical considerations for educators, supervising practitioners and professional associations.

DESIGN:

A scoping review of the literature published between 2007 and 2017 was conducted in May 2017 using four databases: CINAHL, MEDLINE, Scopus and HSSA, along with bibliography hand-searching and expert consultation. Articles were screened for relevance and specificity by independent raters.

RESULTS:

Nineteen articles were included for analysis. Two-thirds of the articles related to dietitians and public health nutritionists. Emerging practices included curriculum-based considerations, incorporation of 'sustainability' within professional competencies and self-reflection related to SFS. Descriptions of SFS-related education, PT and CPD practices appeared largely in the literature from developed countries. Articles converged on the need for ecosystems, food systems and sustainability considerations within and across practice to support current and future practitioners.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is growing interest in SFS but guidance to support educators and preceptors is lacking. Updates to dietary guidelines to reflect issues of sustainability are a timely prompt to examine the education, training and development needs of trainees and PHP. Practical examples of emerging practices can empower PHP to promote SFS in all areas of practice. More research is needed to address identified gaps in the literature and to improve SFS-specific education, PT and CPD.

KEYWORDS:

Education and training; Food systems; Professional development; Public health; Sustainability

PMID:
29433593
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980017004207
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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