Friday, June 1, 2007

Caffeine and Weight

The findings regarding caffeine and weight loss seem to change daily. While nothing is conclusive, a recent study shed some light on caffeine intake and long term weight change in both men and women. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, followed 18,416 men and 39,740 women from 1986 to 1998. Caffeine intake was initially assessed in 1986 and then reassessed every two to four years. Weight for each participant was recorded at baseline and then again in 1998. The study did find a lower mean weight gain in participants who increased, rather than decreased, their caffeine consumption. However, due to the nature of the study, it is impossible to assume that higher caffeine consumption actually causes weight loss as many other factors may have been involved; rather caffeine is simply associated with weight loss. Moreover, in men, the association between caffeine intake and weight was mostly present in younger participants. In women, the association was stronger in those who had a higher body mass index (>=25), who were less physically active, or who were current smokers. This study does lay the groundwork for future research, but for now there is no reason to run out and load up on caffeine. The best advice is to stay active and eat a balanced diet.

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