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Louise A. Baur
Botticelli's painting of The birth of Venus depicts one of the myths of the origin of the goddess. This wonderful work of art shows her emerging, fully formed, from the sea--she stands upon a large sea-shell, a beautiful woman with long flowing hair. Apparently for Venus there was no need for infancy and childhood, growth and development, or a family of origin. Rather, her mature adult self was independent of such influences.
The experience of the mythical Venus is in stark contrast to the reality of life for us mere mortals. We should all be able to recognise the powerful impact that early life has on our functioning in adulthood. Clearly, the genetic endowment that we receive from our parents is important, but so too are those many and varied early environmental influences. An appreciation of these can be vital to an understanding of what drives our current behaviours, lifestyle choices and health status.
In an article in this issue of the Journal, Campbell and Crawford explore the early environmental influences on eating behaviours, particularly in relation to the …