Professor, Unit for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Iceland and Landspitali University Hospital
Prof. Bryndis Eva Birgisdóttir is a professor in nutrition at the University of Iceland. She started out with a BSc in nutrition from the Karolinska Insitute and University of Stockholm, as a stepping stone towards a further degree in Clinical Dietetics from Gothenburg University. After graduation she worked for a few years as a clinical dietitian at the National University Hospital in Iceland along with research and lecturing. However, after her PhD in nutritional epidemiology from the University of Iceland, she worked on public health nutrition projects and research, both in Iceland and from Bruxelles. When relocating to Oslo, Bryndis worked on several research projects at the Norwegian Public Health Institute before moving to Iceland again, as an associate professor/professor in nutrition at the University of Iceland. Bryndis is currently a guest researcher at the University of Copenhagen. Her research interests are vast.
Bryndis Eva is part of an energetic, inspirational and inviting group of lecturers and researchers from all the Nordic countries, focusing on Education within Public Health Nutrition in the Nordic countries, including at the core, Liv Elin Torheim, OsloMet; Agneta Yngve, Uppsala University; Arja Erkillä, University of Eastern Finland, Aileen Robertson, Runa Midtvåge and Chalida Mae Svastisalee from the University College Copenhagen, all of whom have welcomed warmly a flow of other interested researchers to different events over the years and supported the mobility of young public health nutrition students.
The Nordic network on Education in Public Health Nutrition (NEPHN) was established in 2014 with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The aim of the network is to further develop PHN education, to train highly qualified experts to address nutrition related challenges in the Nordic region and globally.
Public Health Nutrition is the basis for the achievement of most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as through the right to adequate food via access and availability to affordable, sustainable, healthy, nutritious, enjoyable and culturally acceptable food. Malnutrition in all its forms, (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and excesses, overweight and obesity) can exist and co-exist at all levels of the population — country, city, community, household, and individual, resulting in lower resilience to both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Malnutrition often has its roots in faulty food systems, especially due to interactions between commercial determinants, food environments and food miscommunication and policy. There is a range of possible interventions to solve nutritional problems within different countries, from focus on improving the existing food systems towards more sustainability to involving the art of commensality. Due to the interconnectedness of over- and undernutrition, double-duty actions that simultaneously address more than one dimension must be implemented for policy recommendations to be effective. Consequently, PHN plays a transformational role to address sustainable development, as progress towards reducing malnutrition will have wide-reaching consequences for improving health, working to end poverty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Nordic network of Public Health Nutrition Education acknowledges these challenges and the need for novel approaches and is working towards designing a joint Nordic platform for Public Health Nutrition to promote creative education and graduate students in the field, on a broad basis.