Skip Navigation

Faculty Directory

Sara Benjamin Neelon, PhD

  • The Helaine and Sidney Lerner Professor
  • Director of the Lerner Center
  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W3041
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


View Current Courses


JD, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 2017
PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002
BS, Ithaca College, 1995


Dr. Benjamin Neelon is also an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research, MRC Epidemiology, University of Cambridge.  Please see: for more information.

  • Domestic and global chronic disease prevention
  • Community-based interventions targeting children and families
  • Population-based dietary assessment
  • Evaluation of natural experiments to create healthier food and physical activity environments
  • Epigenetic and environmental changes affecting child growth and development
  • Evaluation of nutrition and physical activity policy change
  • Legal analysis
  • Early life feeding, physical activity, sleep, and stress
  • and Food insecurity and health.

Some recent publications

  • Benjamin-Neelon SE, Bai J, Østbye T, Neelon B, Pate RR, Crainiceanu C. Physical activity and adiposity in a racially diverse cohort of US infants. Obesity. 2019; In press.
  • Gonzalez-Nahm S, Grossman ER, Benjamin-Neelon SE. The role of equity in US state breastfeeding policies. JAMA Pediatrics. 2019 Aug 12. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.2582. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Benjamin Neelon SE, White AJ, Vidal AC, Schildkraut JM, Murtha AP, Murphy SK, Kullman SW, Hoyo C. Maternal vitamin D, DNA methylation at imprint regulatory regions, and offspring weight at birth, 1 year, and 3 years. International Journal of Obesity. 2018;42(4):587-593.
  • Benjamin-Neelon SE, Gonzalez-Nahm S, Grossman E, Davis MN, Neelon B, Ayers Looby A, Frost N. State variations in infant feeding regulations for child care. Pediatrics. 2017;140(6).
  • Benjamin Neelon SE, Shou-Andersen C, Schmidt-Morgen C, Kamper-Jørgensen M, Oken E, Gillman MM, Sørensen TIA. Early child care and obesity at 12 months of age in the Danish National Birth Cohort. International Journal of Obesity. 2015;39(1):33-8.