Pregnant women who drink more than three cups of tea or two mugs of coffee a day are more likely to have overweight children.
Expectant mothers who consume over 200 mg of caffeine a day are more at risk of having children who grow faster in their early years and carry excess weight by their eighth birthdays, a study found.
Previous animal studies suggest exposure to caffeine in the womb may ‘turn off’ genes linked to weight regulation.
Study author Associate Professor Verena Sengpiel, from Gothenburg University, said: ‘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.’
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Past research suggests obese children are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in later life, shares Daily Mail.
The NHS recommends pregnant women limit their daily caffeine consumption to 200mg a day, which is equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee or three cups of tea.
The researchers analysed 50,943 pregnant women who were taking part in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.
Their children’s body sizes were measured 11 times between six weeks and eight years old.
The women’s average caffeine intake was assessed mid-pregnancy.
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