This Task Force report reviews the evidence that the seeds of many adult diseases are sown in utero and in infancy. The report, written by experts in the field, summarises current knowledge in this area. It illustrates how early life nutrition can bring about changes in organ development and function, thus programming risk of disease in adult life. It also considers what might be done in early life to reduce the burden of future ill health. Nutrition and Development: Short- and Long-Term Consequences for Health includes chapters on the history of this topic area, normal growth and development, and current recommendations and practice in relation to nutrition and diet in early life. Chapters exploring the possible mechanisms and pathways of critical windows for development cover the effects of diet and nutrition in early life on organ and skeletal development, the role of sex hormones in programming disease susceptibility, the establishment of gastrointestinal microbiota, and the impact of early life nutrition on cognitive and neurological development. This new report: • describes how development occurs and explores how changes in the fetal and postnatal environment, such as over- or under-nutrition, can result in permanent alterations in function; • explains how diet and nutrition in early life can affect risk of adult disease, with specific chapters on allergic disease and asthma, bone health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive function, diabetes and obesity; • includes a summary of the key points, as well as recommendations in each chapter to help fill the gaps in our knowledge; • provides an overview of the main messages in a practical question and answer format suitable for lay readers. Nutrition and Development is an important information resource for those involved in research and teaching in the health sciences sector and is also of value to those involved in making decisions about health policy. It will be of interest to a broad range of health professionals, the food industry and those who write and broadcast about the effects of food on health.