NO PROOF COFFEE CAUSES OBESITY AND DIABETES
– No Proof Coffee causes Obesity and Diabetes.
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‘Is your caffeine fix making you fat?’ is the compelling question posed
by the Mail Online website, which goes on to report that a study ‘shows
five cups of coffee a day could cause obesity.’ But the study in question
involved mice, not people, and a chemical found in coffee, not coffee itself.
The research explored the effects of a substance called chlorogenic acid
(CGA), a component of coffee. The rodents were given CGA to see how
it affected their fatness and glucose regulation, which is related to the
risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with CGA appeared to display
signs of worse glucose regulation than those given the high-fat diet
only, which suggests that consuming high levels of CGA may not be
good for you.
Despite this finding, the headline ‘five cups of coffee a day could cause
obesity’ was way off the mark. The study only demonstrated that a high
-fat diet made the mice fatter, but did not prove that CGA – and by
association coffee – makes you fatter, as the headline implies.
After all, coffee is usually accompanied by sugar and cream, which both
can contribute to gaining weight and diabetes. Drinking five cups of
coffee accompanied by loads of sugar and cream everyday could easily
cause obesity, however, there is no clear evidence that drinking
coffee alone causes obesity.
This study alone does not support the notion that coffee causes obesity.
Still, drinking five or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day can lead to
symptoms such as irritability and insomnia.
Coffee and obesity risk
Remember, it’s not just the micronutrients in coffee that may affect your
risk of obesity. How much coffee you drink and what you put in it can see
the calories, sugar and fat add up.
Whole milk, whipped cream, marshmallows and flavoured syrups can all
make your drink tastier, but will dent any calorie-counting ambitions.
A 20oz latte with whole milk from a well-known high street coffee shop
chain weighs in at 290 calories (more than 10% of your daily recommended
maximum) and 9g of saturated fat (nearly half a woman’s daily
Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from universities in Australia and
Malaysia and was funded by the Australian Research Council.
It was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food
Both the Mail Online and The Daily Telegraph’s reporting of the study
seems pretty wide of the mark. The Telegraph’s headline, ‘Regular coffee
drinkers ‘at increased risk of weight gain’,’ is a major extrapolation of the
actual study results.
In mitigation, it appears that their reporting was influenced by an
overenthusiastic discussion of the potential implications of the research
by the researchers themselves.
What kind of research was this?
This was a laboratory-based animal study using male mice. The researchers
suggest that the increasing prevalence of what is known in the medical
profession as “metabolic syndrome” demands new treatments and
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination ofdiabetes,
high blood pressure and obesity. It puts you at greater risk of heart
disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels
The researchers point out that human observational studies have
consistently linked higher coffee consumption with a lower risk of
type 2 diabetes. It is thought that certain dietary polyphenols
(organic chemical molecules found in food and drink) can have
beneficial effects on several features of metabolic syndrome,
such as reducing blood pressure.
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