The Power of Programming and the EarlyNutrition project: opportunities for health promotion by nutrition during the first thousand days of life and beyond

Ann Nutr Metab. 2014;64(3-4):187-96. doi: 10.1159/000365017. Epub 2014 Oct 2.


At The Power of Programming 2014 Conference, researchers from multiple disciplines presented and discussed the effects of early nutrition and other environmental cues during the first thousand days of life and beyond on the lifelong risk of noncommunicable diseases. This paper aims to summarize the concepts and some of the first achievements of the EarlyNutrition research project that initiated the conference. The EarlyNutrition consortium is a multinational, multidisciplinary research collaboration of researchers from Europe, the USA, and Australia. A focus is placed on exploration of the developmental origins of obesity, adiposity, and related health outcomes. Here we report on the first findings of experimental approaches, cohort studies, randomized clinical trials, and systematic reviews of current information, as well as position papers, which have all been developed with the involvement of project partners. We conclude that the EarlyNutrition project has successfully established itself during the first 2 project years as a very strong platform for collaborative research on early programming effects. The first results, available already at this early stage of the project, point to great opportunities for health prevention strategies via the implementation of dietary and lifestyle modifications, with large effect sizes. Further results are expected which should support improved recommendations and related policies for optimized nutrition and lifestyle choices before and during pregnancy, in infancy, and in early childhood.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child Development*
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Development*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology