Caffeine during Pregnancy Contributes to Excessive Weight Gain in Kids

Caffeine during pregnancy contributes to excessive weight gain in kids, even in moderate amounts. A new study suggests that a high intake of caffeinated substances during pregnancy may affect her child’s weight years later.


The study found that excessive amounts of caffeine consumed by a mom-to-be was linked to an increased risk of the child being overweight eight years later, said lead researcher Eleni Papadopoulou from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. A large observational study which states that Caffeine during pregnancy contributes to excessive weight gain in child years later was published Monday in the online journal BMJ Open.

The study followed over 50,000 women and their babies from across Norway who were recruited to participate in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study between 1999 and 2008. The study found that average caffeine consumption during pregnancy was associated with a 15% greater risk of being overweight while high caffeine consumption was tied to a 30% greater risk.

Besides, prenatal exposure to any level of caffeine was linked with higher risk of a child gaining excess weight at ages 3 and 5 years.

Papadopoulou says it is important to note that pregnant women should know that caffeine does not only come from coffee but also from soda drinks. The scientific evidence recommends pregnant women should is not to exceed 200 mg of caffeine intake per day.

“Maternal caffeine intake may modify the overall weight growth trajectory of the child from birth to 8 years,” the researchers wrote.

The study authors concluded, “The results add supporting evidence for the current advice to reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy and indicate that complete avoidance might actually be advisable.”