The latest news of coffee's health benefits, made public a few months ago, may be fueling increased consumption of the beverage. Or these two events may simply be a coincidence. But either way, on the health front, this is welcome news for Americans.
The popularity of coffee has not been in doubt, and casual consumers simply scanning the storefronts they come across can see the evidence of this nearly everywhere they go. Ordinary coffee shops abound, and gourmet emporiums continue to flourish. And this visual evidence appears to support the findings of a new survey, which states that daily coffee consumption is at a six-year high.
Nearly two out of three people – 64 percent – recently surveyed said that they consumed coffee the previous day. That's slightly up from 62 percent a year ago, and approximately equal to the consumption figures from 2012. To provide further context, roughly 20 years ago less than 50 percent of Americans drank coffee on a daily basis.
The survey of roughly 3,000 participants was commissioned by the National Coffee Association, which of course has a built-in interest to trumpet these results. But given the drink's established benefits, spotlighting this news, that more people are sipping coffee, is a worthwhile development and not one that should be undercut or ignored simply due to its source. Drinking coffee, we now know is good, period – as long as it's not done to reckless excess – whether the primary survey result was 64 percent, 60 percent, or 80 percent.
As The BMJ reported in November when publishing a comprehensive study, there are a number of health benefits from consuming multiple cups of coffee on a daily basis.
"The researchers found that drinking three cups of coffee a day was associated with the greatest benefit in terms of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, when compared with not drinking coffee," according to a BMJ article on the study. "Consumption at this level was associated with a 19% lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease ... a 16% lower risk of mortality from coronary heart disease ... and a 30% lower risk of stroke mortality."
This recent NCA survey found that at-home coffee drinking was dominant, as 79 percent of those who reported they consumed coffee the previous day did so at home. On the flip side of this snapshot query, 36 percent of them reported away-from-home consumption (indicating that some respondents reported having coffee both in-home and out.)
Coffee's health benefits were also not lost on the government's nutrition experts, as they were prominently included in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020 under the section titled "Key Elements of Healthy Eating Patterns."
"Moderate coffee consumption (three to five 8-oz cups/day or providing up to 400 mg/day of caffeine) can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns," it reads. "This guidance on coffee is informed by strong and consistent evidence showing that, in healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases (e.g., cancer) or premature death, especially from CVD," or cardiovascular disease.
So whether by design or accident (although by design – in recognizing its health benefits – would be better), it's very good to see more coffee cups in more hands.