Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2014 - Volume 59 - Issue 2 > Research and the Promotion of Child Health: A Position Pape...
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000411
Medical Position Paper

Research and the Promotion of Child Health: A Position Paper of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Koletzko, Berthold*; Kolacek, Sanja; Phillips, Alan; Troncone, Riccardo§; Vandenplas, Yvan||; Baumann, Ulrich; van Goudoever, Johannes#; de Swarte, Casper**; Benninga, Marc††; Mearin, Luisa‡‡

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: Children comprise one-fifth of Europe's population. Promoting child health and development is of key importance for society and its future. This position paper highlights opportunities of investing in gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional research to promote child health and delineates priorities for research. Investing in child health plays a key role in the promotion of population health, well-being, and disease prevention lifelong, with large health economic benefits. Major opportunities for improving knowledge and translational application arise from recent scientific and technological developments, for example, the long-term impact of early environmental cues interacting with genes. Personalised approaches to therapy and prevention should be enhanced. Deciphering the microbiome and its effects on functions can help in promoting long-term health. Epigenetic research can help to understand how early environmental factors influence later gastrointestinal and hepatic health and disease. A linked nutrition and physical activity strategy can promote health and prevent nutritional deficiencies, inactivity, and chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, to ensure optimal health and cognition. Special attention should be devoted to populations with low socioeconomic status, migrant background, and ethnic minorities, and to critical life periods, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, and childhood. Improved understanding of optimal nutrition and on maintaining gut and liver homeostasis throughout childhood will help prevent chronic diseases in later life.

© 2014 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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