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Pregnant women should cut caffeine

3rd November 2008

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that women who are expecting a baby should reduce the amount of caffeine they consume.

pregnancy

The FSA advise that pregnant women should have "no more than two cups of coffee or four cups of tea a day". This equates to a daily maximum of 200mg - lower than its previous recommendation of 300mg per day.

Research, which will appear in the British Medical Journal in the first week in November, was carried out by Leeds and Leicester universities. The study has shown a link between caffeine consumption and "low" birth weights in babies.

The study looked at information provided by 2,500 pregnant women.

Babies with a low birth weight have more chance of health difficulties such as diabetes.

The FSA's chief scientist Andrew Wadge said: "This is new advice but these are not new risks."

"I want to reassure women that if you're pregnant and have been following the previous advice, the risk is likely to be small."

The FSA's new recommendation means pregnant women should try to drink no more than two cups of coffee or four cups of tea per day and keep an eye on how much chocolate and cola they consume.

The British Coffee Association has stated that it will review its guidance "in line with these recommendations with immediate effect".

 

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