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Gillings School Directory
Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, MA, PhD
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Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, MA, PhD

Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition
Department of Nutrition
Associate Director
Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Fellow
Carolina Population Center
Associate Dean for Global Health
Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dr. Bentley received her MA and PhD degrees in Medical Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. From 1985-98 she was on faculty in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Since 1998 she has been on faculty at the University of North Carolina, where she has held several leadership roles. Dr. Bentley’s research focuses on women and infant's nutrition, infant and young child feeding, behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She has particular expertise in qualitative research methods and the application of these for program development and evaluation.

Dr. Bentley formerly led an NIH-funded intervention to improve child growth and development in Andhra Pradesh, India and currently leads an NIH-funded trial in North Carolina for prevention of obesity among infants and toddlers. She is Principal Investigator of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for analyses of nutrition data from the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral and Nutrition (BAN) study. Dr. Bentley was a member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health and is a member of the ASPPH Global Health Committee. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology.  She was the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Global Health Consortium. She is an officer of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Universities in Global Health. In 2019, she was elected president of the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition.

Honors and Awards

President

2019, Society for Implmentation Science in Nutrition

Kellogg Prize for International Nutrition Research and Lecture

2016, American Society for Nutrition

Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award

2016, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Ambassador, Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research

2006-present, Research America

Fellow

2002-present, Society for Applied Anthropology

Representative Courses

NUTR 745: International Nutrition, 2002–present (co-instructor)

NUTR 809: Qualitative Research Methods for Nutrition (co-instructor)

PUBH 530: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Global Health, 2004-2014

Research Activities

Dr. Bentley’s research focuses on nutrition for women and infants, infant and young child feeding, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health, with a focus on India, Africa and the U.S.  She led a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation study that examined the nutrition outcomes of HIV+ mothers and their infants who were provided a lipid-based supplement and anti-retroviral therapy.  She has expertise in formative and qualitative research methods and the application of these techniques for program development and evaluation.  In addition to research interests in nutrition for women and infants and infant and young child feeding, she also has conducted behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She has lived and worked extensively in India, and is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-U.S. Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health.


Research Interests

  • Behavior Science
  • Infectious Disease
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Obesity
  • Reproductive, Child and Adolescent Health
  • Water and Sanitiation

Key Publications

Validation of the Infant Feeding Beliefs Questionnaire (IFBQ) among pregnant African-American women and their study partners. Thompson AL, Wasser H, Bentley ME (2019). Appetite, 141(104316).

Is it Possible to Promote Egg Consupmtion During Pregnancy? Findings From a Study on Knowledge,Perceptions, and Practices in Kenya. Schnefke CH, Lutter CK, Thuita F, Webale A, Flax VL, Bentley ME (2019). Food Nutr Bull., 40(2), 151-170.

Dietary Diversity, Food Security, and Body Image among Women and Children on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. M Pera, B Katz, M Bentley (2019). Maternal and child health journal, 23(6), 830-838.

Formative research to explore the acceptability and use of infant food grinders for the promotion of animal source foods and micronutrient powders in rural Peru. H Creed-Kanashiro, H Wasser, R Bartolini, C Goya, M Bentley (2018). Maternal & child nutrition.

Family-based obesity prevention for infants: Design of the "Mothers & Others" randomized trial. H Wasser, A Thompson, C Suchindran, E Hodges, B Goldman, E Perrin, M Faith, C Bulik, M Jane Heinig, M Bentley (2017). Contemporary clinical trials, 60.

Education

PhD, Anthropology, University of Connecticut, 1987

MA, Anthropology, University of Connecticut, 1983

BA, Anthropology & Nuitrition, Michigan State University, 1976

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