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UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health

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Gemini - Health and Development in Twins

Gemini collage

Gemini is a population-based birth cohort of 2402 families with twins born in England and Wales between March and December 2007, set up to assess genetic and environmental contributions to early life growth, with a focus on behavioural pathways. It is the largest study of the genetic and environmental contributions to early growth ever to be undertaken. The twin design allows researchers to establish the relative contribution of genetic and environmental influences on early growth and behaviour; the prospective design enables researchers to understand the cause-effect relationships between weight and behaviour from birth, as these traits emerge and develop. 

Data have been collected from birth, and data collection is ongoing. Gemini has one of the richest datasets of early life growth, with anthropometrics collected every 3 months from birth. Gemini also has the largest contemporary dietary dataset British toddlers, collected using 3-day diet diaries when children were approximately 21 months old, and repeated at 7 years of age. Data also include repeated measures of: child eating behaviour, food preferences, temperament and sleep; parental feeding practices, eating behaviour, sleep, and physical activity; the early home family food, activity and media environment; and DNA. Gemini has been supported by programme grant funding from Cancer Research UK, and funding from the Medical Research Council.

Principal investigator: Dr Clare Llewellyn

Contact: Clare Llewellyn (c.llewellyn[at]ucl.ac.uk)

Website: www.geministudy.co.uk

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Collaborators: Dr Alison Fildes (UCL and University of Leeds), Dr Abi Fisher (UCL), Moritz Herle (UCL), Andrea Smith (UCL), Dr Lucy Cooke (UCL), Dr Silje Steinsbekk (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Professor Susan Jebb (University of Oxford), Dr Laura Johnson (University of Bristol), Dr Ellen van Jaarsveld (Radboud University), Dr Susan Carnell (Johns Hopkins), Dr Fruhling Rijsdijk (King’s College London), Dr Emma Boyland (Liverpool University), Professor Jason Halford (Liverpool University)