Around 7 million tons of coffee is consumed globally every year, and while it seems like half the information online proves that coffee is good for you, the other half proves that the caffeinated beverage is bad for you.
Good news for coffee lovers, this story is on the “good for you” side of the argument. A new study has found that drinking two to three cups of coffee per day is linked to lower total body fat percentages and lower abdominal fat percentages. The slightly bad news is for the men reading this; The effects of coffee on body fat are more prominent in women coffee drinkers.
Women who drink coffee have lower body fat percentages
A new study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that women who drink two or three cups of coffee per day have been found to have lower total body fat as well as lower abdominal fat than those who drink less coffee.
For this study, researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, organized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The researchers studied the relationship between cups of coffee drank per day and both the percentage of total body fat and abdominal or “trunk” fat, which is called adiposity.
Through this comparison of data, the researchers found that women aged 20 to 44 who drank two to three cups of coffee per day had the lowest levels of adiposity, a whole 3.4% lower than women who did not consume coffee.
The levels are even more drastic among the older demographic of women. For women aged 45 to 69, those who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had an adiposity percentage of 4.1% lower than those who did not consume coffee.
Overall, among all ages, the average total body fat percentage was 2.8% lower for women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day.
Caffeinated or decaffeinated? It doesn’t matter. The body fat findings were consistent whether the woman reached for a double-shot of espresso or a cup of decaf Joe. The findings were also consistent among smokers and non-smokers and those suffering from chronic diseases when compared to those in good health.
Do men see the same benefits from drinking coffee?
Men who are coffee drinkers also see the benefit of lower body fat, but not to the extent that women do, as the relationship was less significant for men.
Coffee drinking men aged 20 to 44 had 1.3% less total fat and 1.8% less trunk fat than those who did not consume coffee.
Why do women who drink coffee have lower body fat percentages?
“Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulates weight,” said Dr. Lee Smith, reader in Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University and senior author of the study.
Smith noted that these findings could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds in the future.
“It could be that coffee, or its effective ingredients, could be integrated into a healthy diet strategy to reduce the burden of chronic conditions related to the obesity epidemic,” Smith said.
While this study is not the final word on whether or not coffee is the reason some women have lower body fat, Smith is confident that the beverage has influence over a person’s body fat percentages.
“It is important to interpret the findings of this study in light of its limitations—the study was at a specific point in time so trends cannot be established. However, we don’t believe that someone’s weight is likely to influence their coffee consumption,” Smith said.