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'Shopping list' of parent's worries on the menu at child health and development conference

Press release issued: 28 October 2002

Media release
'Shopping list' of parent's worries on the menu at child health and development conference

The world-renowned Children of the 90s study will play host to a group of more than 180 top scientists and researchers on Monday (Oct 28) when they gather together to hear all about the latest developments in child health.

Interest in the conference - taking place at the prestigious Royal Society building in London - clearly demonstrates the high regard in which the study has been held since its inception 11 years ago.

On the day itself, top speakers from the project will be examining most of the major child health and development issues and looking at how Children of the 90s (otherwise known as ALSPAC - or Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) can help.

From examining the causes of obesity to investigating the reasons behind bullying in school - the schedule for the day reads like a 'shopping list of parents' worries'.

Study director, Professor Jean Golding, who will open the meeting on Monday, today paid tribute to the 14,000 South-west families whose input is helping to find solutions to some of our children's most common problems.

"This has only been possible with the fantastic support of all the children and their families. Scientifically we are on a bit of a roll with many important findings."

The study began back in 1991 when staff went into local maternity hospitals to 'recruit' mothers-to-be. Children whose due date was between April 1991 and December 1992 were 'signed-up' and their health and development has been monitored ever since.

Since then millions of pieces of data has been collected which, when analysed, had so far helped to find solutions to a variety of problems.

Here is a taster of just some of our research results which have been published in scientific journals and then reported in the Press in recent years…

* Child peanut allergy linked to eczema creams - reported in a host of national newspapers, including The Times in June 2001.
* Mothers-to-be who eat fish can improve their baby's eyesight - Daily Mail, February 2001.
* Children who are kept too clean run a higher risk of developing asthma - reported in The Sunday Times, March 1998.
* Breast-fed babies are less likely to become obese children - The Independent, June 2001.
* Mothers who have a caesarean risk found it can take longer to conceive in future - this story went around the world! It was reported in almost every national paper from The Times to The Express, on every TV news channel and most radio stations - including The Today programme on Radio 4.

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Copyright: 2002 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Monday, 28-Oct-2002 17:27:20 GMT

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