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How your favorite drink could impact the height of your children

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JUST a little bit of caffeine during pregnancy could be linked to the height of your children, experts have warned.

Most food or drinks are fine to have when you’re pregnant, but there are some that you should be careful with or avoid.

Experts have revealed that small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are linked to short stature in offspring


Experts have revealed that small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy are linked to short stature in offspringCredit: Alamy

The NHS states that you should be careful of smoked fish or raw eggs and that you should also monitor your caffeine consumption.

When it comes to tea and coffee, they said you should have no more than 200mg each day.

In a cup of instant coffee there is around 100mg and a mug of tea is 75mg.

But medics in the US have now said that even a small amount could have an impact on how short your kids are – even just half a cup – at 50mg of coffee.

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The experts at the University of Maryland School of Public Health studied children of women who had low levels of caffeine.

They also looked at those who had low levels of paraxanthin, which is a substance that is made or used when the body breaks down foods, drugs or chemicals.

Participants were monitored at ages four to eight years.

Writing in JAMA Open Network, the medics said that these children were shorter than the kids of women who had no caffeine during their pregnancy at all.

The findings suggest that just small amounts each day during pregnancy are associated with children with shorter stature.

Data from the study shows that the women tested consumed as little as 50mg of caffeine each day.

Experts said there was also a reduction in weight in kids aged five to eight years for children born of mums who consumed caffeine.

Medics states: “The clinical implication of reductions in height and weight is unclear; however, the reductions were apparent even with levels of caffeine consumption below clinically recommended guidelines of less than 200 mg per day.”

Women who had lower levels of caffeine consumption were typically younger, the study found.

Dr Davin Pereira, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Curtin University, Australia said despite the study there remains in sufficient evidence that caffeine during pregnancy hampers the growth of their subsequently born children.

“The researchers attempted to control for confounding is severely limited to those that were available.

“Their conclusion that “increasing levels” of caffeine and paraxanthine, even in low amounts, was associated with shorter stature in early childhood is incorrect.

“This conclusion indirectly implies that as their consumption of caffeine increases, risk of shorter stature also increases.”

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Prof Pereira added that what can be concluded is that children born to women who consumed higher levels of caffeine were shorter than the children born to women who consumed relatively lower levels of caffeine.

“The correlation observed in this study can be explained by the existence of a common cause of both caffeine consumption and growth restriction eg, poverty, stress, and dietary factors,” he added.