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Variation in body weight has a strong genetic basis. Interactions between genetic susceptibility and the obesogenic environment account for the recent rise in the prevalence of obesity. There is growing evidence that suggests that longer term obesity risk could be "programmed" by features of the pre-natal, post-natal and early childhood environment.

Gemini is a large population-based twin birth cohort study (n = 2400 families) recruited from all twin births between March and December 2007 in the UK for follow-up over 5 years. The aims of the Gemini study are to advance understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on obesity risk; to identify potentially modifiable determinants of excessive weight gain in early childhood; and to create a research resource to contribute to a longer-term programme of integrated genetic environmental research in cancer preventive health behaviours.

Data on appetite, activity, the home environment and weight gain will be collected by questionnaires and sub-samples will be recruited for detailed behavioural and biological measurement. This prospective study will investigate the causes of excess weight gain in infancy and the twin design will allow the heritability of high risk behaviours to be estimated.

More about the Gemini Study Team.

Gemini publications.