A recent study from Leeds and Leicester Universities in the UK indicates that pregnant women who drink more than 200mg of caffeine per day may give birth to babies with low birth weight. The study will be published in the British Medical Journal this week. Children with low birth weight are more likely to suffer health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
The study took place from 2003 to 2006 and examined the caffeine consumption patterns of 2,645 low-risk pregnant women with an average age of 30. Women whose intake of caffeine was over 200mg per day were more likely to give birth to smaller babies. The equivalent of 200mg of caffeine is roughly found in two cups of coffee.
Following the study, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) lowered its recommended levels of the stimulant from a maximum of 300mg to 200mg a day – a reduction of a third.
The FSA’s Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge said: “This is new advice, but these are not new risks. I want to assure women that if you’re pregnant and have been following the previous advice, the risk is likely to be small”.
(Credit for the above article to the BBC)