The EU EarlyNutrition study

Professor Lucilla Poston, Dr Errol Richardson, Dr Paul Taylor, Professor Clive Coen, Emmanuel Domfeh, Claire Singh, Dr Susan Barr

EarlyNutrition is a large multinational EU study addressing the long-term effects of early nutrition on later life.

EarlyNutrition is a large multinational EU study addressing the long-term effects of early nutrition on later life. The programme focuses on the ‘developmental programming’ of obesity and associated disorders. This means trying to understand how things we are exposed to at a very young age can make us more likely to become obese or develop other illnesses later on.

The aim of the project is to understand the underlying reasons behind obesity and related conditions. Understanding the causes means scientists can then work on developing recommendations for the best way to give your body nutrition in pregnancy. We want to find ways of preventing childhood obesity and related health problems by influencing early-life diet and/or physical activity.

Tommy’s London centre is involved in several parts of the study, and Professor Lucilla Poston will be leading a number of studies in pregnant women or infants. These will look at the impact of changing diet and lifestyle in obese pregnant women. Women in the UPBEAT trial ate a diet with a low glycaemic index (GI) and increased their physical activity. Follow-on studies supported by the EarlyNutrition project are now looking at how this intervention affected the health of women and their babies.

Trials supported by EU EarlyNutrition

Looking at blood in the umbilical cord to find the missing link between obesity in mother and child

UPBEAT-TEMPO: does changing lifestyle during pregnancy affect children at age 3-4?

UPBEAT-TEMPO-HEART: how improving health during pregnancy could lead to healthier hearts in children

UPBEAT: finding out if we can help obese women give birth to babies with less body fat

UPBEAT: body fat in UPBEAT babies

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Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. We can keep you updated on our research news. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.


This project partly takes place in a Tommy's centre and is funded by the European Union's EarlyNutrition programme

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