In the United States 45 percent of children under 18 – 32.4 million – live in low-income families.
Marsha Spence, PhD, MPH, RDN, LDN
Dr. Marsha Spence, Associate Professor of Practice, is the Director of the Public Health Nutrition Graduate Program and the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Leadership Education and Training Program at the University of Tennessee. Her research and outreach focus on pediatric obesity prevention and improving child care, school, and community nutrition and physical activity environments in low-income communities, using positive youth development, leadership development, and family engagement. Dr. Spence partners with local health departments, school systems, child care centers, and community organizations to increase capacity so that children and adolescents have access to nutritious meals and snacks and safe places to play and engage in physical activity. Dr. Spence, who is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist, earned a doctorate in Human Ecology with a focus on Community Nutrition, a master’s of Nutrition Science with a concentration in Public Health Nutrition, a master’s of Public Health with a concentration in Health Planning and Administration, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee.