May 22, 2018, 11:23 am IST
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Drinking coffee during pregnancy leads to obese kids

Drinking coffee during pregnancy leads to obese kids

 May 14, 2018

Bad news for Coffeeholic mothers-to-be, as a recent study has found that having as low as two cups of coffee per day during pregnancy, can lead to overweight or obese kids, over time.

The study, published in the BMJ Open journal last week, showed that children born to mothers who consumed caffeine during pregnancy were at greater risk of being overweight at pre-school and school ages.

"There may be a good cause to increase the restriction of the recommended maximum of three cups of coffee per day. Caffeine is not a medicine that needs to be consumed," said Verena Sengpiel, Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden and lead author of the study and specialist physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, studied information on 50,943 pregnant women, in one of the world's largest health surveys of pregnant women, the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), Science Daily reported.

The study found that in the age of five years, the share of children who were overweight or obese was five per cent greater in the group whose mothers had the highest caffeine consumption, compared to those whose mothers had the lowest caffeine consumption.

The association between caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of excess growth and overweight or obesity in children was also seen in women, who had followed the recommended amount for pregnant women, it noted.

According to the National Food Agency, Sweden, pregnant women should not consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to three cups of coffee or six mugs of black tea.

The results of the current study are supported by at least two other studies; however, these included significantly fewer subjects and fewer sources of caffeine.

"In the Nordic countries, coffee is the primary source, while, women in, for example, England, receive the greatest amount of caffeine from black tea. If you look at mothers in the younger age group, it comes from energy drinks. We included different sources in the study and found a similar association between caffeine consumption from these different sources and children's growth," said Ms Sengpiel.

"Even if more studies are needed before we can say what this finding really means, caffeine is a substance that you can choose to reduce consumption of or completely refrain from during pregnancy," she noted. (UNI)

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