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Drinking coffee during pregnancy promotes overweight in children


The benefits of high -quality, sugar-free coffee can be interesting in a healthy diet for healthy adults. However, coffee also has its dark side, with for example a risk of overweight in the children of mothers who drank coffee during pregnancy.

Indeed, a study published in the BMJ Open newspaper shows that even moderate coffee consumption during pregnancy , one to two cups a day, is linked to a risk of overweight or obesity in school-aged children .

It should be noted that it has not been clearly demonstrated that caffeine is the direct cause of overweight, but the relationship, on its own, has prompted researchers to encourage greater caution in the future regarding coffee consumption for pregnant women .


There may be good reason to increase the restriction of the recommended maximum of three cups of coffee per day. Caffeine is not a medicine that has to be consumed without taking into account the real health effects.

Researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy(Sweden), in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), surveyed 50,943 pregnant women in one of the largest surveys of pregnant women’s health. the Norwegian study on the mother-child cohort ( MoBa ).

The results show that children born to mothers who consumed caffeine during pregnancy are at higher risk of being overweight at preschool and school age. The children were followed until the age of eight.

The overweight in childhood has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes later in life.

For example, at age five, the proportion of overweight or obese children was 5% higher in the group whose mothers consumed the most caffeine in the study than those whose mothers consumed the least amount of caffeine .

In addition, the association between caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of excessive growth and overweight or obesity in children can also be observed in women who have followed the recommended amount for pregnant women.

According to the Swedish National Food Agency , pregnant women should not consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which equals three cups of coffee (1.5 dl each) or six cups of black tea ( 2 dl each) .


The results of this study are supported by at least two other studies. However, these included significantly fewer subjects and fewer sources of caffeine. This time, coffee, tea, chocolate , energy drinks and other sources were included.

Note that in the Nordic countries, coffee is consumed in large quantities, while women in Great Britain, for example, receive the largest amount of caffeine from black tea, if we look at mothers in groups. younger age. Also, different sources of the study found a similar association between caffeine consumption from these different sources and the growth of children.

In general, the gestational environment is considered important in the activation and deactivation of genes and metabolic programming for the duration of life . Previous animal studies, where embryos were exposed to caffeine in the uterus, were also followed by excessive growth and cardiometabolic disease in the offspring.

Cardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, heart attack, heart failure, etc.) are often associated in the same patients with metabolic diseases, that is to say characterized by disturbances of metabolism, including sugars (diabetes) and lipids ( obesity, dyslipidemia). We therefore speak of diseases or cardiometabolic syndromes. via Les Echos.

Finally, as usual, even though other studies are needed before you can say what this discovery really means, caffeine is a substance that you can choose to reduce or completely suppress during your pregnancy .

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