Why nutrition in early life matters?
Task Force Information
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.
Body composition early in life and long-term health - Ongoing -
This activity will review the available evidence on the factors that influence body composition during fatal life, infancy and childhood and on the association of body composition with long-term health outcomes. In addition, a gap analysis will be performed to outline future research needs.
Early biomarkers for prediction of metabolic health - Ongoing -
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. This prediction may drive development and knowledge of personalized (infant) nutrition. The focus of the activity will be on both invasive and non-invasive, perinatal and postnatal biomarkers.
Lipid quality in early life nutrition - Upcoming -
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 to its consumers with a particular focus on exploring appropriate intake levels of SFA and MUFA.
Peer-reviewed journal article (‘white paper’).
The content will cover expert insights and hopefully a concluding consensus on the FA profile of first year of life diet. It will identify knowledge gaps and outline plans for future research and possibly a basis for new EFSA recommendations.
Review and Gap Analysis of Factors Affecting Body Composition in Fetal Life, Infancy and Childhood and Association to Long-Term Health
Background and Objectives
The clinical significance of differences in body composition (fat, bone and muscle) during fatal life, infancy and childhood on long-term health is currently not known. This activity aims to: review current evidence on the impact of life factors on body composition during infancy and childhood; test for association between body composition at infancy and childhood and long term health outcomes; Perform a gap analysis outlining areas where evidence needs to be generated
These data will be compiled in a peer-reviewed publication with the purpose of informing scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders on knowledge gaps and research directions. Further, the outcomes will provide insight on critical periods of life where body composition measurement should be included to identify at-risk populations.
Expert Group Members
Scientific review on biomarkers in early life (prenatal - infancy) to predict childhood obesity risk and 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.
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
Diabetes Care 2018;41:1346–1361. Commissioned by the Early Nutrition and Long Term Health and the Obesity and Diabetes Task Forces.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2013;62:137-145. Commissioned by the Metabolic Imprinting Task Force.
British Journal of Nutrition 2019. Commissioned by the Early Nutrition and Long Term Health and Nutrient Intake Optimisation Task Forces.
- Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health Task Force - One-pager
- The Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health Task Force in a nutshell, an introductory video*
* The video was developed on the occasion of the Annual Symposium
Workshop ‘Health Relevance of Lowering Postprandial Glycaemia in Children and Adolescents through Diet’
Watch the recordings
Completed Expert Groups
Overview of completed activities since 2021