"Meghan M. Slining Furman University"

I teach because it brings me in contact with students who are passionate about making the world a better place. I teach public health because it provides a global understanding and a set of practical skills that enables them to do so.

I am a native of Seattle, WA and completed a self-designed major in Multicultural Health Advocacy from Fairhaven College in Bellingham, WA. After graduating I joined the Peace Corps and served as a Health Specialist in rural Honduras for two years. Bitten by the travel bug, I moved to Germany where I taught high school and traveled throughout Western and Eastern Europe for three years. My experiences outside of the US expanded my perspectives on health and wellness and inspired me to return to the US to work with communities to improve health and nutrition, specifically pediatric obesity. I subsequently earned an MS in Food Policy and an MPH in Epidemiology from Tufts University. While at Tufts I taught cooking and nutrition classes to low-income adults and adolescents and conducted obesity research in preschool settings. These experiences ultimately led me to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I received my PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology. From 2010-2013, I served as an Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2013 I accepted a faculty position at Furman University, excited to return to a small, liberal arts setting.

While not at school I enjoy cooking, gardening, lifting weights and doing yoga. I am married to Rusty Miller, a 1998 Furman graduate and Head Coach of Furman Cycling. We enjoy getting outdoors with our black labs, Barley and David.

Name Title Description


Seminar in Public Health

The seminar is designed to understand and analyze key issues in public health research and practice. Topics include contemporary public health issues, the relevance and intersection of multiple disciplines on public health, and skills needed to impact the health of the population.


Research & Evaluation in HSC

Principles of research relevant to health and exercise science focusing on study design, measurement, and statistical techniques used in the analysis and interpretation of data from population based and human performance studies. Statistical software functions and communication techniques are included. It is recommended that this course be enrolled early in the major.


Fundamentals of Public Health

An introduction to the academic discipline of public health, including the sub-disciplines of health care systems and disease epidemiology. Emphasis on the theory, planning, implementation and evaluation process for public health interventions.


Global Public Health

An introduction to the basic principles of public health as they apply to populations across the world including an exploration of the major determinants of, and responses to, poverty and health in low- and middle-income countries.


Public Health Capstone

Completed after an intensive applied learning experience, the goals of the capstone course are to integrate public health knowledge, skills and practice acquired during the undergraduate degree, to develop public health communication skills in both oral and written forms and through a variety of media, to diverse audiences, and finally to provide professional development opportunities that prepare students for success.

(*indicates authored by a mentored student)

  • Popkin BM, Slining MM. (in press) New dynamics in global obesity facing low- and middle-income countries. Obesity Reviews
  • Slining MM, Mathias KC, Popkin BM (in press) Trends in food and beverage sources among US children and adolescents 1989-2010. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • *Poti J, Slining MM, Popkin, BM (in press) Where are kids getting their empty calories? The role of stores, fast food, and schools American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
  • Slining MM, Popkin BM. (2013) Trends in intakes and sources of solid fats and added sugars among US children and adolescents: 1994-2010. Pediatric Obesity Online version published 2 April. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2013.00156.x
  • *Mathias KC, Slining MM, Popkin, BM (2013) Foods and Beverages Associated with Higher Sugar Sweetened Beverage Intake. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 44(4). doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.036
  • Slining, MM, Ng SW, Popkin BM (2013) Food companies’ calorie-reduction pledges to improve U.S. diet. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 44(2):174–184. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.064
  • *Ford C, Slining, MM, Popkin, BM. Trends in dietary intake among US children ages 2- 6, 1989-2008. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013; 113:35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.08.022
  • Ng SW, Slining MM, Popkin BM. Use of caloric and non-caloric sweeteners in US Consumer Packaged Foods, 2005-9. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012; 1828-1834. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.07.009.
  • Slining MM, Herring AH, Popkin BM, Mayer-Davis EJ and Adair LS. Infant BMI trajectories are associated with young adult body composition. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2012, 4(01):56-68 doi:10.1017/S2040174412000554.
  • Slining MM, Kuzawa CW, Mayer-Davis EJ, Adair LS. Evaluating the indirect effect of infant weight velocity on insulin resistance in young adulthood: birth cohort study from the Philippines. American Journal of Epidemiology 2011; doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq435.
  • Wasser H, Bentley M, Borja J, Davis Goldman B, Adair L, Thompson A, Slining M. Infants perceived as 'fussy' are more likely to receive complementary foods before 4 months of age. Pediatrics 2011 Feb;127(2):229-37. Epub 2011 Jan 10. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-016
  • Yaemsiri S, Slining MM, Agarwal SK. Perceived weight status, overweight diagnosis, and weight control among US adults: The NHANES 2003-2008 Study. The International Journal of Obesity [advance online publication] 2 Nov 2010.
  • Slining, MM, Adair, LS, Borja, J, Goldman, B, Bentley, M. Infant overweight is associated with motor development. J Pediatrics, 2010 Mar 12. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.12.054.
  • Cradock AL, O’Donnell EM, Benjamin SE, Walker E, Slining M. A Review of State Regulations to Promote Physical Activity and Safety on Playgrounds in Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2010, 7(Suppl 1), S108-S119.
  • Yaemsiri S, Hou N, Slining MM, He K. Growth rate of human fingernails and toenails in healthy American young adults.J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Apr;24(4):420-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03426.x.
  • Slining, M., Adair, L., Borja, J., Goldman, B., Bentley, M. Infant temperament contributes to early infant growth: A prospective cohort of African American infants followed from 3 to 18 months of age. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:51. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-51.
  • Benjamin SE, Taveras EM, Cradock A, Walker E, Slining MM, Gillman MW. State and regional variation in regulations related to feeding infants in child care. Pediatrics 2009 Jul;124(1):e104-11. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-3668.
  • Benjamin SE, Copeland KA, Cradock A, Neelon B, Walker EM, Slining M, and Gillman MW. Menus in child care: a comparison of state regulations with national standards. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009(1)109-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.10.015.
  • Benjamin SE, Cradock A, Walker EM, Slining M, and Gillman MW. Obesity prevention in child care: A review of U.S. State regulations. BMC Public Health 2008, 8:188. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-188.
  • Chomitz V, Slining M, Dawson G, Hacker K. Is there a relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement? Positive results from public school children in the northeastern U.S. Journal of School Health. 2009 Jan;79(1):30-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1746- 1561.2008.00371.x.

I am a specialist in nutrition epidemiology with a focus on pediatric obesity. I was first introduced to the significance of early life nutrition as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras working closely with caregivers whose children were underweight and undernourished. My efforts focused on culturally sensitive techniques for adding energy and micronutrients to infants’ diets. This interest shaped my subsequent graduate research at Tufts University with underserved communities in Boston. I worked with pre-school parents and teachers of children with the opposite problem, excess and increasing weight gain. In both settings, my efforts focused on improving early life nutritional status. I was struck by how similar were the concerns and fears of the parents in Honduras and Boston. Through both experiences I witnessed the immediate medical and social consequences at either end of the malnutrition spectrum, forging my commitment to improve the nutrition of women and children across the globe.

My research strives to improve our understanding of the determinants and consequences of global overweight and underweight, providing sound scientific evidence to support public policy and action aimed at enhancing global health. Specifically, my current work examines child diet, a primary determinant of overweight and a key target for obesity policy efforts. I am a co-investigator on the independent evaluation of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) calorie reduction pledge. The HWCF, a coalition of food and beverage manufacturers, pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the US marketplace by 2012. The methods developed through this evaluation have potential to assist and guide the efforts of researchers, advocates, the food industry and others working to prevent excessive weight gain in children.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tufts University, School of Medicine
Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Fairhaven College, Western Washington University

Connect with Admission

Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University