Pregnant women advised to cut all caffeine to avoid overweight babies

Pregnant women advised to cut all caffeine to avoid overweight babies

Pregnant women advised to cut all caffeine to avoid overweight babies

Children exposed to very high levels of caffeine before birth also weighed 67-83 g more at 3-12 months, 110-136 g more as toddlers, 213-320 g more at 3-5 years, and 480 g more at the age of 8, than children who had been exposed to low levels.

Previously, scientists from Norway have stated that pregnant women can drink in a day to two cups of coffee and it is in no way to affect the health of the child.

Study author Jean Golding argues that there is a connection between caffeine intake during pregnancy and weight of children aged up to eight years. For 8-year-olds, it was among mothers who had a very high caffeine intake during their pregnancy. "But we add to the growing body of evidence indicating that complete avoidance of caffeine during pregnancy might be advisable".

It has already been linked to a heightened risk of miscarriage and restricted fetal growth, with several authorities agreeing that caffeine intake should not exceed 200 mg/day during pregnancy.

Children prenatally exposed to caffeine intake 200mg/day had consistently higher weight.

Their children's weight, height, and body length were subsequently measured at 11 time points: when they were 6 weeks old; at 3, 6, 8, and 12 months; and then at 1.5, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8 years of age.

Australian Medical Association spokesperson for obstetrics and gynaecology Dr Gino Pecoraro said the research "may provide further evidence that limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy may have beneficial effects for the developing child".

Sources of caffeine in the study included coffee, black tea, caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, chocolate milk, sandwich spreads; and desserts, cakes, and candies.

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The women were grouped by the amount of caffeine they consumed daily: 0 to 49 mg was considered low; 50 to 199 mg was average; 200 to 299 mg was high; and 300 mg or more was considered very high. Very high caffeine exposures were associated with higher weight gain velocity from infancy to age eight years.

Of those children born to women with a low caffeine intake, 11 per cent were overweight at age three, while 17 per cent of children born to mothers with very high caffeine levels, were overweight - as classified by World Health Organization benchmarks.

Of the participants, 46 percent were classified as low caffeine intake, 44 percent as average, 7 percent as high and 3 percent as very high. The first women did not drink coffee throughout pregnancy. However, researchers from this study note that a "complete avoidance" of caffeine may be advisable based on their findings.

"Severe side effects have been observed among patients consuming high dose of caffeine through energy drinks".

The results have been published online in the journal BMJ Open.

Dr Clovis Palmet, Senior Monash University Fellow and Burnet Institute head of immunometabolism and inflammation, said: "The researchers provided no evidence of a causal link between prenatal exposure to caffeine and early childhood obesity".

For more on caffeine and pregnancy, visit the March of Dimes.

Other studies have confirmed problems with caffeine intake during pregnancy, including a 2015 study by Kaiser Foundation Research Institute that found exposure to caffeine in the womb was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of childhood obesity.

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