Caffeinated Beverages Have To Go!
by chelsea-martin on February 27, 2013 - 9:59am
An article posted on CTV news by Relaxnews on February 20th, 2013 states that a Swedish study has found that longer pregnancies and low birth weights may be caused by the rates of caffeine being consumed. This topic relates to a journal published in June 2010, which follows the academic discipline of psychology. This is a discipline that involves studying the mental functions and behaviors. It aims to understand groups and individuals. The journal states that intrauterine exposure to caffeine may be linked to over activity and lack of attention in children. Another journal posted in October 2003, relates to caffeine and pregnancy by stating that high caffeine consumption in the third trimester can cause fetal growth problems. This follows the discipline of public health, which is used to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health, this is done by efforts and informed choices by organizations, individuals, communities and society. The major issue that will be discussed is health, and how it plays a very important role in our lives and the lives of future children.
To begin, a news article states that a Swedish study has found that longer pregnancies and low birth weights may be caused by the rates of caffeine being consumed. The research conducted on 60,000 Norwegian women, which was posted in BioMed Central’s journal states that babies lost 21 to 28 grams of their weight per 100mg of caffeine consumed per day. A study held by Sahlgrenska University Hospital found out that babies who are smaller than average at birth have a higher risk of developing short term and long term health problems. It was also discovered that consumption of caffeine, regardless of the source, can lengthen pregnancy by a rate of five hours for every 100mg consumed. Yet it is suggested that caffeine from coffee causes an even longer gestational period, 8 hours per 100mg. Apparently, coffee has an extra ingredient that causes the longer gestational period, but this is not present among teas or other caffeinated drinks. However, the researches conducting the experiment monitored all sources of caffeine. The average cup of coffee in the United States contains 100 to 200 mg of caffeine. It was also found that mothers who consume caffeine and breastfeed may have sleepless, irritable babies, because they cannot metabolizes the caffeine properly.
Also, a study performed in Norway tried to link caffeine exposure to the fetus and over activity and inattention with children. In adults, caffeine can help prevent chronic illnesses, but for a fetus it can lead to increased motor development and can affect the neurochemical system, in children. A study conducted on animals stated that the link is believed to be made by the adenosinergic and dopaminergic neural systems. It is believed that through up-regulation of adenosine receptors or increased dopamine can induce changes in motor behavior. It is stated that if there is a dysfunction in the dopaminergic neurotransmission placed in the central nervous system is linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, which is a long term health problem. Many states that ADHD is inherited but environmental factors also play a role such as preservatives and artificial colors. The study conducted included all women who attended a routine ultrasound taking place at the 17th week of gestation. They responded to surveys at week 17 and 30 and again when the child was 18 months old. The 18 month olds were then measured to see their over activity levels and the mother were asked about their caffeine consumption at week 17 and 30. They found that inattention was not affected but over activity was slightly affected. However, it was affected mostly by soft drinks, not coffee, although 18 months is still believed to be too young to test. In conclusion they discovered that people not only need to not drink coffee but also other caffeinated beverages. The news article had stated that caffeinated drinks can cause health problems for the infant and that should be a reason to ban caffeine during pregnancy, this journal proves that caffeinated beverages can cause health problems, such as over activity.
In addition, a study performed to see if babies who are small for gestational age (SGA) could be linked to high caffeine intake. Women in this study were separated into two different groups, one was done with people who did not smoke or had never had a child who was SGA where as the other group were women who believed to be at risk of SGA, due to prior pregnancies, caffeine intake or smoking. Previous testing had been done to see if smoking could cause SGA but caffeine had never been completely, heterogeneously linked to SGA. Of the women tested, in the third trimester they were asked to record what they ate for three days. Too see how much caffeine was consumed. When born, the babies were weighed to see if they were considered SGA. Of the 858 who were tested, 111 turned out to be SGA. They found that women who consumed a lot of caffeine in the third trimester of their pregnancy were at a much increased risk of having a SGA baby. They also found that it was at more risk for male babies compared to female. SGA is a health problem for newborns, babies who are underweight and small are often more prone to develop problems in the future, which the news articles confirms.
In conclusion, It is seen through these three sources that drinking caffeinated beverages while pregnant can cause a lot of problems; it is also not beneficial for the unborn child. Women who are pregnant should realize that it’s bad for the baby to have these caffeinated drinks and stop drinking them throughout the pregnancy as well as the length of time of breastfeeding. It is extremely selfish to drink caffeinated beverages when it is known that the child could suffer due to the amounts of caffeine. I think the world needs to come to the conclusion that caffeine is bad news and isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s time for health organizations to spread more awareness about the dangers, if not ban coffee all together. Also, I feel the psychological studies that are done should be more open to public knowledge in order to inform people of what is going on. These children could be born without health problems if caffeine was taken out of the equation, maybe it is time for a coffee ban, I mean, if it causes so many problems, is it really worth it?
Bakketeig, Leiv S. Jacobsen, Geir. Lund-larsen, Kari. Trygg, Kerstin Ulla. Vik, Torstein. “High caffeine consumption in the third trimester of pregnancy: gender specific effects on fetal growth.” Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology. 17.4 (2003): 8. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
Bekkhus, M. Borge, A.I.H. Nordhagen, R. Skjothaug, T. “Intrauterine exposure to caffeine and inattention/overactivity in children.” Acta Paediatrica. 99.6 (2010): 4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
Relaxnews. “Can a higher caffeine intake prolong pregnancy?” CTV News. 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.