Too much caffeine during pregnancy doubles the risk of childhood obesity

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If you’re pregnant, the sobering results of this study might be enough to put you off your morning coffee. New research has linked consuming caffeine while pregnant to a significantly increased risk of childhood obesity.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesitywhich included more than 15 years of follow-up research, found that children born to women who consumed more than 150mg of caffeine a day while pregnant, were more than twice as likely to become obese. One cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine.

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The research tracked 829 women who were monitored for caffeine intake during pregnancy. Once born, the children were studied until they left the healthcare system or the end of the study period. The research found that “maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy was associated with an 87 per cent increased risk of childhood obesity in offspring compared with no maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy”.

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Interestingly, all caffeine sources, including coffee, soft drink and tea, “had similar associations with the risk of childhood obesity,” according to MPR.

Previous research by this study’s author, Dr. De-Kun Li from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute and Stanford’s school of medicine, shows that caffeine can easily pass through the placenta and into the unborn child’s blood.

If you’re pregnant and a caffeine drinker, what are your thoughts on this research?

(via Newsweek and MPR)

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