Study: Caffeine doesn't cause hyperactivity in children

Research finds pregnant women who drink coffee aren't risking child's behavior

By Allison McGinley - News Director
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Along with alcohol, certain fish and cheeses, pregnant women are told to avoid caffeine. However, a new study out of Amsterdam shows drinking caffeine during pregnancy won't affect a child's behavior later in life.

More than 3,000 pregnant women were asked how much coffee they consumed during pregnancy. Those same women were interviewed about their child's behavior when the child turned 5 or 6. Those children's teachers filled out the same questionnaire.

The researchers concluded that mothers who drank caffeine during pregnancy did not put their kids at risk for "hyperactivity/inattention problems, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, peer relationship problems, overall problem behavior, or suboptimal prosocial behavior."

While the research shows that caffeine intake doesn't cause behavior issues in children, it didn't examine any other developmental problems.

Currently, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology says that up to 200 milligrams (an 8-ounce cup of coffee) a day is okay to drink during pregnancy. Any more than that increases the likelihood of complications during a pregnancy.

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