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Daily takeaway coffee could pose a risk to pregnant women

Published on 01/12/2011

Customers are unaware of the caffeine content of their daily takeaway coffee, according to new research, something which could pose a risk to pregnant women.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow analysed coffee content from 20 popular high street coffee shops, ranging in cup size from 23-70ml.

Caffeine content in coffee can vary widely between different shops

Their findings, published in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Food and Function journal, show that the caffeine content from one shop could be as much as six times higher than another, with no guidelines to warn the customer.

A cup of coffee from Starbucks was found to have 51mg of caffeine, compared to 157mg in a Costa coffee. The highest amount of caffeine was found in coffee from Glasgow-based Patisserie Francoise, serving 322mg in a single drink.

Alan Crozier, from the research team, said: "Despite the increasing number of coffee shops on the high street and in airports, there appear to be no recent publications on the caffeine contents of the various types of commercially prepared coffees.

"This snap-shot of high street espresso coffees suggests the published assumption that a cup of strong coffee contains 50mg of caffeine may be misleading."

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises that pregnant women should restrict their average daily caffeine intake to 200mg a day. The FSA warn that too much caffeine can result in miscarriage or a lower birth weight, so pregnant women need to exercise caution when buying a coffee from a high street shop.

Private medical insurance will not cover women for healthy pregnancies, but some policies may cover complications. Take a look at our FAQ page to find out more about what medical insurance will cover, or compare health insurance policies online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Health
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