The results of a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that coffee consumption among US women was associated with lower adiposity, and therefore, may be a promising diet strategy to reduce the burden of chronic conditions related to the obesity epidemic.

Evidence suggests that moderate coffee consumption, defined as 3−4 cups/d, is associated with a significant risk reduction for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and overall weight-related mortality. These potential health effects are largely attributed to bioactive compounds contained in coffee. It has been postulated that coffee consumption increases the metabolic rate, thereby increasing energy expenditure. Despite reported associations between coffee intake and obesity measures, previous studies have not differentiated changes in fat mass from lean body mass. 

To examine the relationship between coffee consumption, adiposity, and body fat distribution, researcher Chao Cao (Washington University School of Medicine) and colleagues utilized cross-sectional population-based data collected between 2003−2004 and 2005−2006 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, known as NHANES.  The NHANES is a nationally representative survey conducted in the United States to assess health and nutritional status. Whole-body DXA scans were used to measure trunk fat and total fat percentage. Information on both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. 

Study results found that higher coffee consumption was associated with significantly lower total body fat percentage and trunk body fat percentage in a dose-response manner among women. Women 20−44 years old who drank 2−3 cups of coffee per day and women 45−69 years old who drank >4 cups of coffee per day had lower total and trunk body fat than those who did not drink coffee within their respective age groups. The study team also recommends further research to identify bioactive compounds present in coffee that influence adiposity.

Reference Chao C, Liu Q, Abufaraj M, Han Y, Xu T, Waldhoer T, Shariat SF, Li S, Yang L, Smith L. Regular Coffee Consumption is Associated with Lower Regional Adiposity Measured by DXA among US Women. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 150, Issue 7, July 2020, Pages 1909–1915,

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