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Effect of diet and lifestyle on risk of gastrointestinal infection and allergy in early life: Consumer knowledge, attitudes and needs

Contract number : QLK1-2002-02606
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : Under negotiation
EC contribution : Under negotiation
Starting date : not yet determined
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Barend Verachtert
Project website : not yet available
Prof. Dr Christine Edwards
University of Glasgow
Department of Human Nutrition
Yorkhill Hospital, Dalnair Street
G3 8SJ Glasgow
United Kingdom
Tel.: +44-141-2010711
Fax: +44-141-2019275
E-mail: caeln @

Although there is strong evidence for links between diet, lifestyle and gut microflora in infectious disease and allergy, there is little knowledge of the mechanisms and no established markers of risk to target treatment and advice for those infants at high risk. In this project, a multi-disciplinary team will investigate these problems across five countries in Europe with very different diet and lifestyle and different risks of allergy and childhood infection. New tools for establishing consumer attitudes to foods and feeding behaviour and to the relationship between lifestyle, diet and disease in infancy will be developed and applied in groups of infants in five countries in Northern and Southern Europe, participating in a either a cross sectional, allergy case control, or an intervention study of infant functional foods. The infants will provide faecal samples throughout the first year, and these will be used to identify risk factors and biomarkers for disease incidence. Data will be used for a variety of dissemination to health professionals, the food industry and consumers.

  • Develop and apply new tools to analyse consumer needs and attitudes to food products, processes and labelling and to determine diet, feeding patterns and lifestyle including incidence of allergy , infection and illness during infancy in 5 European centres;
  • Carry out sensory studies on food preferences of infants;
  • Evaluate the influence of diet, feeding behaviour and lifestyle on biomarkers and risk factors and actual incidence of allergy, infection and illness in infants in Northern and Southern Europe;
  • Identify risk factors for allergy and infection in infant faecal material in the first year;
  • Evaluate changes in biomarkers and risk factors for allergy and infection in faeces of infants fed with a probiotic-supplemented (Bifidobacteria bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum) infant formula compared with a standard formula and in faeces of infants fed with a prebiotic-supplemented infant formula compared with a standard infant formula.
(expected) Results and achievements
  • New tools for measuring consumer attitudes and needs in Europe about infant products and nutritional guidelines;
  • Data to inform nutritional guidelines and development of infant functional foods;
  • Biomarkers and risk factors for allergy and gut infections in infancy;
  • Database of food intake and illness in the first year of life in 5 countries;
  • Data of effects of infant functional foods on biomarkers and risk factors for allergy and gastrointestinal infections.


Universidad de Granada
Dept. de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular
Facultad de Farmacia
Campus de Cartuja
18071 Granada
Numico Research Group Germany
Milupa GmbH & Co. KG
Bahnstraße 14-30
61381 Friedrichsdorf
University Childrens Hospital
Moorenstraße 5
40225 Düsseldorf
Karolinska Institutet
Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center
171 77 Stockholm
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Department of Paediatrics
Policlinico Hospital
Via Del Pozzo, 71
41100 Modena
INRA Jouy-en-Josas
Unité d'Ecologie et Physiologie du Système Digestif
Domaine de Vilvert
78352 Jouy-en-Josas
National University of Ireland
University College Cork
National Food Biotechnology Centre
Department of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition
Western Road
Hero España S.A
Department of Quality and Development
Avenida de Murcia, 1
30820 Alcantarilla (Murcia)
Humboldt-University Berlin
Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology
Augustenburger Platz
13353 Berlin
Institut Mediterranéen de Recherche en Nutrition
Université Aix-Marseille III
Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Marseille St. Jérôme
Av. Escadrille Normandie Niemen
13397 Marseille 20

Fifth Framework Programme

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