Perhaps the most important aspect of the environment for any organism is the quality and quantity of nutrition it provides. These factors also have decisive, albeit mainly long-term, effects on human health and development. The type of nutrition received during the prenatal period and in early childhood has an influence on the risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease in later life. The project EARNEST brought together scientists from many countries who were attempting to identify the factors that contribute to this phenomenon of "early nutrition programming" and seeking ways to reverse its effects. The project, which was supported by the EU, ran from 2005 until October 2010 and was coordinated by Professor Koletzko of the Children's Hospital, University of Munich. On 6 May 2010, the latest findings in this young and multidisciplinary research area were presented at an international conference on "The Power of Programming".