Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Why nutrition  in early life matters?

Task Force Information

Objectives and list of Task Force members

Contact Information

Contact details in case you have specific questions

Activity Overview

Overview of ongoing and upcoming activities

Expert Groups

Objectives, output and list of experts involved in each activity

Publications

List of publications of this
Task Force

Multimedia

Links to Task Force related documents, recordings and much more...

Completed Expert Groups

Details including experts involved of
each activity

Task Force Information

Objectives

The Task Force aims at providing scientific evidence to support guidelines for maternal and infant nutrition to ensure life-time optimal health. It also identifies risk factors for obesity and other health consequences at the earliest stages of life.

Task Force Members

Contact Information

For more detailed information, please contact Ching-Yu Chang at cchang@ilsieurope.be

Activity Overview

Ongoing

- Early biomarkers for prediction of metabolic health

The EG aims to review biomarkers in early life that could be used to predict development of childhood obesity and metabolic health. This prediction may drive development and knowledge of personalized (infant) nutrition.

Start date: May 2021 | End date: Q4 2023

- Carbohydrates in toddlers’ nutrition

The activity aims to collect scientific evidence about digestible and non digestible carbohydrates in relation to health outcomes for toddlers (1-3 years old), taking into consideration complementary food as well as young child formula. The activity is shared with DC Task Force.

Start date: December 2021 | End date: Q4 2023

- Lipid quality in early life nutrition

The activity aims to generate an overview of the dietary lipid quality in the first year of life and to what extent this brings or relates to health benefits for consumers, with a focus on exploring appropriate intake levels of SFAs and MUFAs.

Start date: Q3 2022 | End date: Q2 2024

Upcoming

- Nutritional quality of plant protein-based infant formula

More info to come soon...

Start date: Q4 2023 | End date: Q4 2025

Expert Groups

Early biomarkers for prediction of metabolic health

Background and Objectives

The aim of the activity is to review biomarkers in early life that could be used to predict development of childhood obesity and metabolic health. The activity will focus on invasive and non-invasive, perinatal and postnatal biomarkers. This activity aims to:

- Summarise the current evidence for early life (perinatal and postnatal) biomarkers that are able to predict childhood obesity and related metabolic health.

- Emphasise relevance of combining conventional predictive markers (e.g. early weight gain) with novel applications of metabolomics, epigenetics and microbiota profiling. It will help to more accurately and effectively identify infants at risk to develop obesity.

- Emphasise importance of validity and reliability of identified biomarkers for application of such biomarkers in (daily) practice.

Output

The highlighted (recent) findings in the development of biomarkers for early life prediction of metabolic health could be used to guide risk prediction and stratification. This prediction may drive development and knowledge of personalised (infant) nutrition to reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Researchers should become aware of the urgency to develop and validate new predictive biomarkers that are both easily detectable and responsive to nutritional interventions.

Expert Group Members

Lipid quality in early life nutrition

Background and Objectives

The activity aims to generate an overview of the fatty acid (FA) quality composition consumption (by means of from all dietary sources; human milk, infant milk formula and complementary feeding) in the first year of life and to what extent this brings or relates to its relation to health benefits for infants consumers. A particular focus is given on exploring appropriate intake levels of Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA) and Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA).

Output

The results will be compiled in a review and published in a peer-reviewed journal. The publication will summarise expert insights and hopefully propose a consensus on the FA profile of the first year of life diet. It will highlight knowledge gaps and outline plans for future research and possibly a basis for new EFSA recommendations.

Expert Group Members

 

WP DataTables

Plant-based protein for infant

Background and Objectives

The adoption of vegan diets and the consequent demand for plant-based food and plant-based beverages has increased globally, including those suitable for infants. Proteins from plant-based sources usually have lower protein quality and poor technological characteristics (low solubility and poor heat stability) compared to animal-based proteins. Together with the specific infant nutritional requirements, multiple challenges for the application of plant-based proteins are foreseen.

This activity will identify challenges and considerations about the nutritional quality of plant protein-based infant formula for infants below 1 year by organizing a workshop in Q4 2024.

Output

Proceedings of debate/workshop including all challenges, all considerations, gap analysis and guideline for suitability of plant protein-based infant formula.

Expert Group Members

WP DataTables

Publications

Oldest to Newest

Health relevance of lowering postprandial glycaemia in the paediatric population through diet’: results from a multistakeholder workshop

To summarize current knowledge and gaps regarding the role of postprandial glycaemic response in the paediatric population, a workshop was organized in June 2021 by the European branch of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI). The workshop led to the consensus on the crucial role on health of postprandial glycaemic response in paediatric population.

Read more

Infant fat mass and later child and adolescent health outcomes: a systematic review

Obesity and excess adiposity are leading causes of metabolic and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Early identification of individuals at risk is key for preventive strategies. We examined the relationship between infant body composition (0–2 years of age) and later (>2 years) health outcomes using a systematic review.

Read more

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Objective

Obesity and excess adiposity are leading causes of metabolic and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Early identification of individuals at risk is key for preventive strategies. We examined the relationship between infant body composition (0-2 years of age) and later (>2 years) health outcomes using a systematic review.

Design

We preregistered the study on PROSPERO (ID 288013) and searched Embase, PubMed and Cochrane databases for English language publications using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms 'infant' and 'body composition' and 'risk' between January 1946 and February 2022. We included studies which assessed infant body composition using predetermined in vivo methods other than body mass index (BMI).

Results

We identified 6015 articles. After abstract screening to assess eligibility, we reviewed 130 full text publications. 30 were included in the final assessment and narrative synthesis. Meta-analysis was not possible due to heterogeneity of results. All 30 studies were of high quality and reported associations between infant body composition and 19 different health outcomes after 2 years of age. Outcome measurements ranged from 2 years to 16 years. The strongest associations were found between infant fat mass and later fat mass (7 studies), and later BMI (5 studies). For 11 of the outcomes assessed, there was no relationship to infant adiposity detected.

Conclusions

Current evidence, from a small number of studies, suggests a positive association between infant adiposity and future adiposity or BMI, but the validity of infant body composition as a biomarker of future health remains inconclusive. Carefully designed, standardised studies are required to identify the value of infant body composition for predicting later health.

Download the full article here.

Download the article one-pager below

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Multimedia

Introductory video

One-Pager

Completed Expert Groups