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Gemini: Health and development in twins

About the cohort

Start date: 2008
Age at recruitment: 4-20 months
Sample size at recruitment: 4,808
Estimated current sample size: 4,440

Gemini is a large population-based twin birth cohort study of 2400 families recruited from all twin births between March and December 2007 in the UK. The aims of the Gemini study are to advance understanding of 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, sleep, the home environment and weight gain, as well as socio-demographic information from parents, are collected by questionnaire and interview. There have so far been 8 sweeps of data collection.  This prospective study will investigate the causes of excess weight gain in childhood and the twin design will allow the heritability of high risk behaviours to be estimated.

Core funders

  • Cancer Research UK



Principal Investigator: Professor Jane Wardle


Health Behaviour Research Centre
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University College London
1-19 Torrington Place


Tel: 020 7679 1720

Page last updated: 4 Mar 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 0-4,999
  • Age: 0 to 9
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight
  • Lifestyle: Physical activity, Dietary habits
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Finances, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status
  • Biological samples: Other