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Few other aspects of food supply and metabolism are of greater biological importance than the feeding of mothers during pregnancy and lactation, and of their infants and young children. Nutritional factors during early development not only have short-term effects on growth, body composition and body functions, but also exert long-term effects on health, disease and mortality risks in adulthood, as well as development of neural functions and behaviour, a phenomenon called 'metabolic programming'. This paper reviews the existing literature, and identifies areas where further research is required.

This is one of six thematic papers produced within the concerted action 'Functional Food Science in Europe' (FUFOSE), which is part of the European Commission's Fourth Framework Programme for research and technological development.

Additional information

Authors: KOLETZKO B, Klinikum Innenstadt der Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München (DE);AGGETT P J, Institute of Food Research, Norwich (GB);BINDELS J G, Nutricia Research, Verenigde Bedrijven Nutricia NV, Zoetermeer (NL);BUNG P, University of Bonn, Women's Hospital, Bonn (DE);FERRÉ P, INSERM, Centre Biomédical des Cordeliers, Paris (FR);GIL A, University of Granada, School of Pharmacy, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Granada (ES);LENTZE M J, University of Bonn, Children's Hospital, Bonn (DE);ROBERFROID M, UCL, École de Pharmacie, Brussels (BE);STROBEL S, Institute of Child Health, London (GB);FERRE P, INSERM, Centre Biomedical des Cordeliers, Paris (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: A paper published in 'Functional food science in Europe - volume 1', EUR 18591 EN, pp.S5-S45.
Availability: EUR-OP reference: CG-NO-18591-EN-S; price: 71 euros (set of 3 volumes). Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-828-4776-4 (3
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