Welcome to - Join our International Hands-on Training Course on Novel Methods in Behavioural & Clinical Nutrition

Why this course?

Measuring and monitoring lifestyle-related health behaviours with easy-to-use portable intelligent devices, also known as portable forms of interactive computer technology (ICT), has gained interest and popularity worldwide. Increased accessibility of these mobile technologies, including smartphones, personal digital assistants and touch pads (ultra-portable computers), has made them more feasible for use by consumers for self-monitoring but also by researchers and health care service providers for monitoring health behavior, compliance and effectiveness. Mobile technologies can be used in a co-creation mode where users provide input and actively participate in the co-creation of service, care and best practice. Examples of signals and protocols that offer such functionality range from text messaging to GPS tracking, mobile positioning, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The novel technologies allow for detailed analysis for example of patterns of physical activity, food intake, addictive behaviours and environmental exposure either in real-life or simulated, virtual settings to study new choice architectures that aim to facilitate healthy choice.

This course explores novel easy-to-use portable intelligent technologies and features leading scientists across the globe. The course demonstrates new combinations of scales, smartphone technologies, near field communication and picture- and voice recognition to estimate food intake and to facilitate meal ordering processes. It will showcase examples of how the novel technologies can best be used in different food environments ranging from hospitals to private settings where measuring food intake is important. The course will be highly interactive to provide the participants with hands-on experience with the new devices and novel technologies.

The course is organized by Aalborg University in cooperation with the University of Eastern Finland and in context of the FoodServInSPIRe, Foodtura, Food4Growth and dVices4Food projects with the support of Nordic Fudan Centre in Shanghai (to be confirmed).

Aim of the course

This course aims to demonstrate the range of novel easy-to-use portable forms of interactive computer technology (ICT) that can be used for studying health behaviours, dietary intake, meal ordering and consumer choice. The course provides insight into the use of novel technologies that can:

Automate dietary intake assessment and thereby allow for automated estimation of nutritional intake as well as for food waste and environmental impact of food choice
Facilitate the co-creation of nutritional care in social and health care services through the use of portable intelligent devices
Simulate supermarket and buffet food choice architectures to facilitate the design of health-enhancing food landscapes (foodscapes).

Format of the course

The course is organized as a 4-day post-graduate level workshop held at Aalborg University supported by an online learning environment. The course features pre-course online learning tasks, in-class demonstrations of novel intelligent devices and technologies in use in the partner countries combined with scientific presentations on their application in the study of food behaviours, service and choice. First day of the course will include introduction to the course, expert presentations and demonstrations, small group tuition and team-building plus team working skills practice. During the next two days, student teams will work on cooperative learning tasks presented as case studies related to best-practice in using one of the demonstrated novel technologies. Fourth day of the workshop is reserved for collaborative knowledge-building and –sharing based upon team presentations on best-practice and novel solutions. Expert guidance in this day’s session will be provided by the lecturers and researchers participating in this collaboration. The course will utilize a blended learning approach in a highly collaborative learning environment.

Expected result

Students in this course will be able to demonstrate knowledge on evidence-based best practice in the use of novel technologies in monitoring lifestyle-related health behaviours at the public and private level and for research purposes. Students will become part of a global network of practitioners and experts in the field of measuring and affecting health behavior and architectures in complex foodscapes through ICT assisted methods.

Programme & Lecturers

Pre-course learning tasks
Getting to know each other. Online introductory learning tasks will be moderated according to Gilly Salmon’s 5-stage model of e-learning with the aim to introduce the students to each other prior to the in-class sessions and to ease the future team-building and collaboration in class. These tasks are moderated by Irja Haapala-Biggs, University of Eastern Finland.

Introduction to the course

Bent Egberg Mikkelsen. Aalborg University & Irja Haapala-Biggs, University of Eastern Finland

Why monitoring intake in hospital foodscapes

Monitoring intake among hospital patients – case of Huadong Hospital. Jianqin Sun. Professor Fudan University Hospital,
Why is it important to monitor intake among hospital patients? Øivind Irtun, Professor Tromsø University Hospital,

Why monitoring intake in local foodscapes

Monitoring behavior intelligently – a new focus on self-monitoring and choice architectures, Bent Egberg Mikkelsen. Aalborg University

Methods for monitoring intake in hospital foodscapes

Dietary Intake Monitoring System. ICT assisted dietary assessment at Aalborg Hospital. Kwabena Ofei. PhD, Aalborg University.
ICT assistance and co-creation in the hospital meal ordering process. Insight from the Food´n Go project at Herlev Hospital. Tove Lindhardt Damsgaard.
Mobile technologies for self-reporting of food intake and life style behaviours - weight management using mobile phone technology. Irja Haapala-Biggs, University of Eastern Finland

Tracking behavior in local community foodscapes

Tracking students’ behaviour in food environments using smart phones, Sagar Koirala & Frantisek Sudzina, Assoc Prof. Aalborg University.
Using the e-button for measuring dietary intake in children: A formative study, Tom Baranowski, Professor, Baylor College, Houston
Heat mapping the costumer journey using the track-lab.

Simulating food environments

Virtual reality in health promotion. Case of the Virtual Food Choice Simulator (VFCS), Stefania Serafin, Professor, Aalborg University.
The Intelligent buffet. Why know who eat what, in which amounts and when, Michal Dobroczynski, CEO, Syscore.

Online learning tasks
In addition to the pre-course introductory learning tasks, online personal learning portfolios will be used to support student learning throughout the course. Post-assessment and evaluation of the course will be carried out at the end of the course followed by a further assessment one month later in order to assess practical use of the material learned in this course. An ongoing network will be established for collaboration in the field of measuring and affecting health behavior and architectures in complex foodscapes through ICT assisted methods. Online learning tasks are moderated by Irja Haapala-Biggs, University of Eastern Finland.

Assessment and certificates

Summative assessment will be carried out in collaboration between the course leaders from Aalborg University and the University of Eastern Finland. Certificates upon the completion of the course and its learning assignments will be issued by Aalborg University.

Organizer: Bent Egberg Mikkelsen


Time: 24-27 August, 2015

Place: Aalborg University, Frederikskaj 10, Copenhagen - room Fkj 10A/2.160

Zip code: 2450

Number of seats: 20

Deadline: 1 August, 2015

Important information concerning PhD courses
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.