Annual Lecture

Building “STRONGer” Kids Through Early Life Nutrition

Wednesday, October 16th, 2024
Sharon Donovan

Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
600 South Gregory

Event Description

Dietary intake and environmental exposures in early life are key to establishing trajectories for lifelong health. Childhood overweight and obesity, which affect nearly 1/3 of 2-19-year-olds in the U.S., results from a complex interaction of genetic, microbial, nutritional, and physical and social environmental factors. To advance our understanding of these interactions, Professor Donovan and her colleagues established the transdisciplinary STRONG (Synergistic Theory and Research on Nutrition and Obesity Group) Kids program, which uses a cells-to-society approach and provides unique insights into how individual biology interacts with the family environment to promote healthy eating habits in young children. In this presentation, Professor Donovan will discuss insights gathered from the STRONG Kids 2 longitudinal birth cohort study of 450 families in East Central Illinois, with a focus on how early life nutrition shapes growth trajectories and development of the gut microbiome.

Sharon Donovan

Center for Advanced Study Professor of Food Science & Human Nutrition
Director of the Personalized Nutrition Initiative