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NEW CRP: Applying Nuclear Techniques to Understand the Link between Early Life Nutrition and Later Childhood Health (E43032)

New Coordinated Research Project

Do early life interventions prevent later childhood obesity? (Photo: H.Mulol)

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing worldwide and being overweight or obese are major risk factors for NCDs. Evidence suggests that several early life factors significantly contribute to the development of obesity and the period from conception to 2 years of age is critical for long-lasting programming effects on later obesity and associated NCDs. Much of the current evidence on the relationship between early nutrition and longer term health is based on simple measures of body weight and height, however, there is a need to better capture the dynamic nature of growth during early life and to understand the early nutrition/later health relationship by assessment of body composition. The challenge of measuring body composition during the first 1000 days will be addressed within this CRP by stable isotope dilution techniques. The proposed CRP will investigate the relationship between the first 1000 days and later childhood body composition and explore whether interventions during the first 1000 days can influence childhood body composition and associated NCD risk factors.

CRP Overall Objective

The ultimate objective of this project is to enhance Member States’ knowledge of  the link between early life nutrition and later childhood health and of the effectiveness of early life interventions to reduce later childhood obesity.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Collect new data on body composition along the life course from pre-conception to pregnancy in the mother and during infancy and childhood in the offspring;
  2. Investigate the relationship between maternal body composition and/or infant body composition and later body composition and non-communicable disease risk factors;
  3. Evaluate the impact of a range of early life nutrition interventions on body composition and non-communicable disease risk factors in later childhood.

How to join the CRP?

Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by 16 June 2017 directly to the IAEA’s Research Contracts Administration Section, using the form templates on the CRA web site (preferably via email). For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants could contact, Dr Alexia Alford, Project Officer, Nutrition Specialist, Nutritional and Health-Related Environmental Studies Section, Division of Human Health, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency.

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