Liggins Institute

Research themes

Our research demonstrates the importance of children having a healthy start to life. We have shown that early life nutrition has a profound effect on health throughout life.

We have a number of overlapping research themes exploring the ways in which factors in the early life environment affect health throughout the life course and influence the health of following generations. A poor start to life has long term consequences for the health and life prospects of the individuals who are affected and for the communities they live in.

Nutrition is potentially the most important environmental factor determining later life health. Poor antenatal nutrition, both under- and over-nutrition, may lead to chronic metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity, heart disease) in adulthood, which in turn become major public health issues. As we age, nutrition becomes an important factor in maintaining health and reducing the incidence of disease.