Caffeine Consumption & Miscarriage

Lauren Shaull

Summary

“Couple’s Caffeine Intake Linked to Miscarriage, Study Says” is an article written by Steven Reinberg that is found on Health.com. It claims that the amount of caffeine a couple drinks per day, both the female and the male, in the weeks leading up to conception has an association to their risk for miscarriage. It also claims that the amount of caffeine women drink during the first seven weeks of pregnancy also has an effect on the risk for miscarriage. Along with making this connection to a higher risk for miscarriage, this article also claims that women who take a daily multivitamin leading up to conception had a lower risk for miscarriage. According to the study that was used for this article, male and female consumption of two or more caffeinated beverages a day resulted in a 74 percent greater risk of miscarriage. The study also found that women who took the multivitamins had a 79 percent reduced risk for miscarriage. This article uses this study and its findings to promote couples to consume less caffeine and women to take multivitamins before conception through early pregnancy.

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Critique

There are many aspects of this article that raise questions about its credibility. The website that this article is on is accessed very easily to the public, and it is neither a governmental nor an educational site. The author of this article doesn’t give any of his credentials, only the fact that he is a reporter for HealthDay, but it doesn’t specify what that is. The author never really sites the study he is using to make these claims. He talks about the study and references people, but never states that those people were the ones who conducted the study. However, if they were the ones who conducted the study, it would make the article a little more credible due to the fact that they are from the NIH, which is a very reliable and professional institution. When looking for “red flags” this article has many. A red flag is warning of danger from a single product, and this article tries to warn couples that caffeine has a negative association with miscarriage. Another red flag is simplistic conclusions from a complex study. This article uses a study that has many different factors in it that could of led to the results of the miscarriages, yet they draw the conclusion that the caffeine consumption had the highest correlation. This is also linked to another red flag, which is making recommendations based on studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups. Another red flag is giving recommendations based on a single study, and this article suggests that couples limit their caffeine consumption to less than two cups a day only because of this studies findings. This is also an unrealistic recommendation because there is caffeine in chocolate and other food items as well, and there are different amounts of caffeine in different types of drinks. So, a recommendation should be based on mg of caffeine rather than cups. And finally the last red flag is listing either good or bad foods, and this article is clearly giving caffeine a bad connotation for couples and pregnant women. Overall, I would say that this article is not a very credible or reliable source of information.

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References


Couple’s Caffeine Intake Linked to Miscarriage, Study Says. (2016). Retrieved April 07, 2016, from http://news.health.com/2016/03/29/caffeine-intake-even-dads-linked-to-miscarriage-study-says/