Objectives To study the association between maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy and the child’s weight gain and overweight risk up to 8 years.
Design Prospective nationwide pregnancy cohort.
Setting The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.
Participants A total of 50 943 mothers recruited from 2002 to 2008 and their children, after singleton pregnancies, with information about average caffeine intake assessed at mid-pregnancy.
Outcome measure Child’s body size information at 11 age points from 6 weeks to 8 years. We defined excess growth in infancy as a WHO weight gain z-score of >0.67 from birth to age 1 year, and overweight according to the International Obesity Task Force. We used a growth model to assess individual growth trajectories.
Results Compared with pregnant women with low caffeine intake (<50 mg/day, 46%), women with average (50–199 mg/day, 44%), high (≥200–299 mg/day, 7%) and very high (≥300 mg/day, 3%) caffeine intakes had an increased risk of their child experiencing excess growth in infancy, after adjustment for confounders (OR=1.15, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.22, OR=1.30, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.45, OR=1.66, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.93, respectively). In utero exposure to any caffeine was associated with higher risk of overweight at age 3 years and 5 years, while the association persisted at 8 years, only for very high exposures. Any caffeine intake was associated with increased body mass index from infancy to childhood. Children prenatally exposed to caffeine intake >200 mg/day had consistently higher weight. Very high caffeine exposures were associated with higher weight gain velocity from infancy to age 8 years.
Conclusion Any caffeine consumption during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of excess infant growth and of childhood overweight, mainly at preschool ages. Maternal caffeine intake may modify the overall weight growth trajectory of the child from birth to 8 years. This study adds supporting evidence for the current advice to reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy.
- preventive medicine
- public health
- social medicine
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Contributors EP contributed to study design, data analysis and interpretation of the results and had the main responsibility of writing the paper. JB contributed to the statistical analysis plan and database preparation and interpretation of the results. A-LB contributed to study design, interpretation of the results and revising the paper. MH, JA, HMM contributed to the design of data collection tools, the study design and interpretation of the results. JB contributed to the statistical analysis plan and database preparation. AE contributed to interpretation of the results. BJ initiated this collaborative project, contributed to the study design and the interpretation of the results. VS defined the research question, contributed to the study design, database preparation and interpretation of the results. She is guarantor and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. All authors read, revised and approved the final version of the paper.
Funding The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and Ministry of Education and Research, NIH/NIEHS (contract no N01-ES-75558), NIH/NINDS (grant no. 1 UO1 NS 047537- 01 and grant no. 2 UO1 NS 047537-06A1). VS has received grants from Stiftelsen Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Minnesfond (LA2013-0241 “Koffeinintag, födelsevikt och barnutfall”), Stiftelsen Fru Mary von Sydows, född Wijk, donationsfond (2014 “Koffeinintag, födelsevikt och barnutfall”) and Wilhelm och Martina Lundgrens Vetenskapsfond (1 vet1-119/2014: “Koffeinintag, födelsevikt och barnutfall”).
Disclaimer EP as the lead author affirms that this manuscript is an honest, accurate and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval The data collection in MoBa and this study was approved by the Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics in South-Eastern Norway (2010/2683/REK Sør-øst A).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available. All data from the MoBa study are available to all qualified researchers/research groups in Norway and to international researchers who are collaborating with a Norwegian researcher.
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