Researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, organised by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and looked at the relationship between cups of coffee drunk per day, and both total body fat percentage and abdominal or 'trunk' fat (adiposity).
They found that women aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups of coffee per day had the lowest levels of adiposity, 3.4% lower than people who did not consume coffee. Among women aged between 45-69, those who drank four or more cups had an adiposity percentage 4.1% lower.
Overall, the average total body fat percentage was 2.8% lower among women of all ages who drank two or three cups of coffee per day.
The findings were consistent whether the coffee consumed was caffeinated or decaffeinated, and among smokers/non-smokers and those suffering from chronic diseases when compared to those in good health.
In men, the relationship was less significant, although men aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups per day had 1.3% less total fat and 1.8% less trunk fat than those who did not consume coffee.
Around 7m tons of coffee is consumed globally every year.
Dr Lee Smith, reader in public health at Anglia Ruskin University and senior author of the study, said: "Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight and which could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds.
"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. "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."
Background: Coffee is among the most popular daily beverages in the United States. Importantly, coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of multiple health outcomes including a reduction in adiposity. DXA is a means to assess body fat and distribution.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the relation between coffee consumption and DXA-assessed adiposity and adiposity distribution.
Methods: Cross-sectional data from the NHANES were used. Participants were adults aged 20–69 y from the 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 waves. Information on coffee consumption was assessed through the FFQ (categorized as no coffee, 0 to <0.25 cup/d, 0.25 to <1 cup/d, 1 cup/d, 2–3 cups/d, or ≥4 cups/d). Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption were included. Trunk fat and total fat percentage were measured via whole-body DXA scans. The association between coffee consumption and body fat was investigated using age-adjusted and multivariable-adjusted linear regression models which accounted for sample weights. Results: Higher coffee consumption was associated with significantly lower total body fat percentage and trunk body fat percentage in a dose-response manner (all P values < 0.05) among women. Although this dose–response relation was nonsignificant among men, men aged 20–44 y who drank 2–3 cups/d had 1.3% (95% CI: −2.7%, 0.1%) less total fat and 1.8% (95% CI: −3.3%, −0.4%) less trunk fat than those who did not consume coffee. Furthermore, the association between coffee consumption and body fat percentage exhibited for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee among women (all P for trend < 0.001) but not among men (all P for trend > 0.05).
Conclusions: The present study found a significant association between higher coffee consumption and lower DXA-measured adiposity. Moreover, a gender difference in this association in the general US adult population was also observed.
Lee Smith, Lin Yang, Shengxu Li, Shahrokh F Shariat, Thomas Waldhoer, Tianlin Xu, Yunan Han, Mohammad Abufaraj, Qinran Liu, Chao Cao