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

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The Twins Early Development study

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The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) is one of the foremost ongoing twin studies of its kind in the world. It includes over 15,000 families with twins, and has focused on understanding genetic and environmental contributions to the development of quantitative traits from childhood to young adulthood. 

The TEDS families have taken part in studies almost every year (11 times) since they were recruited: at 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 7 years, 8 years, 9 years, 10 years, 12 years, 14 years, 16 years and 18 years. DNA has been collected for more than 7,000 pairs, and genome-wide genotyping has been undertaken. 

The study has been going since 1994 and is based at King's College London under the leadership of Professor Robert Plomin. We have been collaborating with Professor Plomin to understand genetic and environmental contributions to body weight, weight gain, eating behaviour and food choice during childhood and older adolescence. In 1999 we recruited a subsample of 214 TEDS families with same-sex twin pairs, half with obese and half with lean parents, for an intensive study of eating behaviour and growth when the children were five (1999) and 11 (2006) years old. 

Principal investigator (BSH): Dr Clare Llewellyn

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

Website: www.teds.ac.uk

Collaborators: Professor Robert Plomin (Principal Investigator of TEDS; King’s College London), Andrea Smith (UCL), Saskia Selzam (King’s College London)