Researchers from worldwide health study at Weston science festival

Sam and Rachel with Elijah.

Sam and Rachel with Elijah. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of Weston families have taken part in a worldwide health study which has been assisting research into diet, fitness, parenting patterns and mental health.

University of Bristol academics recruited thousands of pregnant women in the early 1990s and tracked their health as well as the health of their children and grandchildren.

The team behind the Children of the 90s study will be at the Big Bang science fair at the Winter Gardens this weekend to enable people to find out more.

More than 1,000 mums and dads are taking part from Weston, including Rachel and Sam Withers.

The couple have also just signed up their newborn son Elijah to the study.

Rachel said: “It’s been really interesting to be a part of the study and to help with the research.

“We both had good memories of it, so when Elijah was born we thought it would be a natural thing for him to be part of it.”

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Rachel and Sam have attended clinics and completed questionnaires so details of their health and wellbeing are available for researchers all over the world.

Over the past 25 years, research using Children of the 90s data has uncovered findings on a vast range of topics such as diet and fitness, parenting patterns, autism, allergies and self-harm and the impact of genes, environment and major life events on our physical and mental health.

The academics have examined 810 of the new generation of Children of the 90s.

Compared with their mother’s generation of the same age, women who were having babies between 2012 and 2018 were more educated, were less likely to smoke but had higher rates of depression during pregnancy and had a higher body mass index and blood cholesterol level.

Their children are more likely to be delivered by caesarean section, heavier at birth and breastfed.

The Children of the 90s study will be part of the Big Bang @ Weston science fair at the Winter Gardens tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

There will be a number of displays and interactive stands about science and engineering with helicopters, robots, games, talks and shows.

The Weston festival of science and engineering is free for people to enter.