Caffeine During Pregnancy Linked To Childhood Weight Gain

Caffeine During Pregnancy Linked To Childhood Weight Gain

by | Apr 26, 2018

When you’re pregnant, feeling fatigued may be your new normal, which makes the thought of drinking less caffeine – a common medical recommendation – hard to stomach. But before you reach for your next cup of coffee or tea, consider this: A new British Medical Journal study links regular caffeine consumption to childhood obesity.

To come to this finding, researchers examined data from nearly 51,000 women and their babies, who were recruited to take part in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study between 1999 and 2008. The moms reported their caffeine intake once during their pregnancy at 22 weeks, and their children’s growth patterns were recorded 11 times between 6 weeks and 8 years of age.

The researchers then grouped the children by their prenatal caffeine exposure. Less than 50 milligrams per day was characterised as low intake; 50 to 199 milligrams a day was considered average; 200 to 299 milligrams, high; and over 300 milligrams per day, very high.

RELATED: Women Aren’t Doing Enough To Get Healthy Before Falling Pregnant, Says Study

Prenatal exposure to caffeine above 50 milligrams per day was associated with a greater risk of excess growth in infancy, which is defined as having a weight-for-age score greater than the 75th percentile. It was also associated with a higher childhood BMI. Though children exposed to very high levels of caffeine before birth were only about a pound heavier at age eight than children with low exposure levels, a child being heavier than their peers so early in life increases their risk of being overweight throughout childhood—a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in adulthood, the study notes.

While the study did have some limitations (it was based on self-reported data and did not control for breastfeeding, which can affect infant growth rates) the study authors say that their findings add to the growing evidence that avoiding caffeine entirely during pregnancy may be advisable.

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Can’t imagine going nine months without caffeine? Lower your baby’s risk of excess growth and high BMI by consuming no more than 200 milligrams per day, the study advises. Previous research indicates that pregnant women who consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day are more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage than those who don’t consume caffeine, so the benefits of dialling back are aplenty. To gradually reduce your consumption, mix decaf coffee in with your regular cup of joe. This will help ward off painful caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and mood swings.

Mug of instant coffee – 100mg

Mug of filter coffee – 140mg

Mug of tea – 75mg

Mug of green tea – 50mg

This article originally appeared on Prevention

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?