Nutrition for life-long health overview

Good nutrition is important at every stage of life: from the health of parents at the time a baby is conceived, to the impact of diet on growth, through to the risks of diseases in adulthood. However, there is still much that is unknown about the importance of differing amounts and types of fats, carbohydrate, proteins, vitamins and minerals on health at each life stage.

For babies, the nutritional environment from conception can influence metabolic and genetic pathways resulting in altered risk of obesity and related metabolic disorders as they grow up. We’re particularly interested in babies who are more at risk of developing chronic diseases in later life, such as those born early or late, or small- or large- for gestational-age.
Nutrition and activity during adolescence and adulthood also influence the likelihood of developing conditions like obesity and diabetes. We’re investigating the effects of macronutrients on early life growth and body composition and the complex roles of vitamin and minerals as regulators of genetic pathways throughout the life-course to better understand better their role in metabolic health.

Clinical endocrinology, nutrition and developmental programming

These three research groups are all interested in the impact of nutrition on life-long health. The environment a baby is conceived into, develops in as a fetus and is ultimately born into, essentially programmes its development and the way it responds to its environment for the rest of its life. Nutrition is therefore arguably the most significant factor in the early life environment in programming life-long health.

Research conducted by these groups include studies in cell and molecular biology, mathematical (computer) and physiological models, clinical endocrine research and epidemiology.