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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has lowered its recommended levels of caffeine intake in pregnancy for a third. Pregnant women are now advised to lower the amount of caffeine from 300mg to 200mg a day, that being two cups of coffee or four cups of tea.

This government agency has brought its decision following the researches of Leicester and Leeds universities that had linked caffeine to babies born with low birth weight and it's known that babies born with a low birth weight are more likely to suffer health problems like heart disease and diabetes later on in life.

Those pregnant women who had been following the previous advice should not panic though. If they had truly followed the previous advice, the risk is likely to be small.

The new FSA guidance suggests women should limit themselves to three or four cups of tea a day and be careful of their cola, chocolate and energy drinks intakes.

The researchers further warn of the drinks bought from coffee shops as they may be far higher than the FSA estimates for the average-sized home-made cup.

Another study suggested that drinking lightly during pregnancy could cut the risk of problem behaviour and hyperactivity in boys. Researchers from the The University College London found boys born to light drinkers did better on vocabulary tests than those born to mothers who abstained completely during pregnancy.

Current medical advice is that women should avoid alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive.


I wonder why the FSA did not advise pregnant women to abstain from caffeine altogether. If caffeine had been linked to babies born with low birth weight, then it should have been totally avoided during pregnancy. I will have to guess that the Brits must be having a tough time weaning themselves from their afternoon cup of tea. The other study is equally puzzling. It seems to suggest that light drinking during pregnancy is beneficial to male fetuses in reducing their future risks of problem behavior and hyperactivity. Does it have the same beneficial effects in female fetuses? What exactly constitute "problem behavior" and "hyperactivity"? These are some of the questions that need to be answered before I am satisfied with the results of the study.