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Study: Drinking caffeine while pregnant can impact your child’s height



A new study has suggested that pregnant women who exceed the recommended daily caffeine dosage could be putting their children’s health at risk.

According to the study published Monday in JAMA Network Open, children who are exposed to caffeine while in the womb are likely to be shorter than those who had zero or minor exposure to caffeine.

“In this cohort study, at ages 4 to 8 years, children of women with low measured caffeine and paraxanthine during pregnancy were shorter than the children of women who consumed no caffeine during pregnancy, with increasing gaps in height in a historical cohort through age 8 years. There were no clear patterns of weight or body mass index changes,” the study said in its key findings.

“Although the clinical implications are unclear for relatively small observed differences, these findings suggest that small amounts of daily maternal caffeine consumption are associated with shorter stature in their offspring that persist into childhood.”

The study emphasized that their findings are limited to birth size and not actual long-term growth.

“Greater caffeine consumption in pregnancy is associated with reduced birth size, but potential associations with childhood growth are unclear.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists currently recommends keeping caffeine consumption under 200 milligrams per day while pregnant.

Dr. Gavin Pereira, who had no involvement in the study and is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Curtin University in Australia, issued a short statement with his findings.

“The correlation observed in this study can be explained by the existence of a common cause of both caffeine consumption and growth restriction e.g., poverty, stress, and dietary factors,” said Pereira in a statement to the Science Media Centre.

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