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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2015 15F703 UCC €69,759

Project Title:

Analysis of diet and eating behaviours in infants and young children as determinants of weight status and health outcomes for innovative product development. (BASELINE-DIET)

Project Coordinator:

Dr Áine Hennessy

Project Abstract

Irish consumers are increasingly aware of the relationship between food and health, and are embracing the concept of foods that are wholesome, clean and enhance health and wellness. Parents are particularly concerned with providing healthy foods that foster good eating habits and behaviours in early childhood, a time of rapid growth and development, which will continue into later life. The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort study is Ireland’s first prospective cohort study which is following 1500 children from 15 weeks gestation throughout childhood. Data collected from birth onwards include biological samples, early infant feeding and nutrition and a unique longitudinal dataset, the largest to date in the world, of eating behaviours in infants and young children. Our study currently holds Ireland’s largest food consumption dataset of 2-year old children and includes biomarkers of nutrient status, prospective validated health outcome variables as well as detailed information on linear growth and body weight status. Currently, the 5-year follow-up assessments are ongoing, for completion in September 2016. The exploitation of these resources will support innovative development of foods and food ingredients to enhance the health and wellness of infants and young children and aid in the development of public health policy.

The overall objective of this study is to examine diet and eating behaviours in early childhood and together with the 2-year and 5-year follow up data, investigate associations with dietary quality, nutritional intakes and nutritional status, including growth outcomes, throughout early childhood.

Specifically, this project aims to:

  • Investigate the use of follow-on and growing-up milk products and their effect on diet, nutrient intake (with a particular focus on nutrients of concern previously identified in this population subgroup, e.g. vitamin D and iron) and status as well as validated health outcomes, such as body weight in an extensively characterised paediatric cohort
  • Identify dietary patterns and key food groups that support healthy body weight and growth and development
  • Investigate longitudinal changes in eating behaviour and evaluate the impact of eating behaviour on weight status from 6 months of age up to 5 years.

Final Report:

Not available yet.