Living ~400lbs

… and believe me I am still alive

Coffee at Lunch?

The “coffee drinkers are less likely to have diabetes” idea has popped up again, this time focused on those who have coffee with lunch.  From the abstract,

[T]he hazard ratio in the highest category of coffee consumption [≥3 cups (375 mL)/d] was 0.73 … in comparison with no coffee consumption. This inverse association was restricted to coffee consumed at lunchtime (hazard ratio: 0.66 …) when comparing >1.1 cup (125 mL)/meal with no intake.

.73 or .66 on an observational study doesn’t seem all that huge.  What struck me was how the lower chance of diabetes was associated with women who drank coffee at lunch.  Generally when I have coffee with lunch, it’s actually at the end of the lunch — a sign that I have time to de-stress a bit more and relax.  Stress is known to influence blood glucose levels in non-diabetics as well as diabetics….

But is my experience (coffee with lunch meaning de-stress time) what most people experience?  Or is it really something in coffee?  Right now, there’s no way to know — and I doubt this is going to be double-blind tested anytime soon ;)

17 responses to “Coffee at Lunch?”

  1. (blinks)

    They only tested drinking coffee with lunch? I usually drink the majority of my coffee with/before breakfast. Does that mean I’m not doing it right? ZOMGIMGONNADIEEEEEE!!!

    Just plain weird.

    Then again, if someone wants to study coffee before/with breakfast, I volunteer to do the drinking.

    1. Not quite. Also from the abstract:

      This was a prospective cohort study including 69,532 French women, aged 41–72 y from the E3N/EPIC (Etude Epidémiologique auprès de Femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale/European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) cohort study, without diabetes at baseline. Food and drink intakes per meal were assessed by using a validated diet-history questionnaire in 1993–1995.

      So they were looking at all meals, but it seems (?) only with meals.

      The bit about 3 cups or greater consumption seems to be about total coffee consumption ;)

  2. That idea about stress is a good one. It made me wonder if people who meditate also have a lower risk of diabetes?

    My take on these studies is mild amusement, I drink coffee anyway; but I wouldn’t change my habits for such a small effect.

    1. That idea about stress is a good one. It made me wonder if people who meditate also have a lower risk of diabetes?


      My take on these studies is mild amusement, I drink coffee anyway; but I wouldn’t change my habits for such a small effect.

      Me too. :)

  3. But what about Dr. Oz, who says that drinking coffee after meals is EVOL because it makes you feel less full so you can eat more? Which (I say cynically and sarcastically), would lead to deathfat which would lead to diabetus, yes?

    And does this matter for North Americans because the study was of French women, who apparently are magical unicorn type people?

    1. See, I thought coffee with cream and sweetener WAS dessert. Shows what I know.

  4. Perhaps the coffee IS lunch in some women….

    1. If it’s coffee black, then it’s unlikely to be a good meal.

      If it’s a venti mocha frappachino…eh, still too low in fiber for me, at least.

  5. Is it due to the caffeine or other compounds in the coffee? I always drink decaf because I’m very sensitive to caffeine. So if it’s the caffeine that causes this effect I’m apparently doing it wrong as well.

    1. They say it decaf or regular, doesn’t matter. So not caffeine, unless they mean trace amounts left by the decaf process.

      1. Interesting. I figured I was out of the running for this benefit, since I never drink caffeinated coffee.

  6. Working women during WWII used to drink coffee and sandwiches at the local cafeteria or auto-mat. I’ve always loved this concept. Now that I own/operate a cafe I get a special/secret kick when someone orders just that. A total throwback and since no one does that anymore I’m surprised to see this in the news. But, Yay!

    1. I sometimes do that too. Or iced tea and sandwiches. ;)

  7. My diabetic mother (who went decades without treatment for it due to her irrational fears of doctors and medication) drank coffee all day long. No coffee maker in their house! They used a coffee pot on the stove and boiled the hell out of it. Every cup was strong, thick, black, and full of coffee grounds. They drank it in the morning with breakfast, after breakfast, with lunch, in the afternoon, and with dinner and after dinner. That’s roughly six cups a day. Mom liked hers black–no cream, no sugar, no sweeteners. She had been doing this since she was a teenager.

    So….tell me again, researchers, how coffee can fight off diabetes?

    1. This comes back to how .75 or .66 isn’t a big difference – meaning that if 100 non-coffee drinkers got diabetes, 75 or 66 coffee drinkers did. That’s…not a lot of risk difference. (For comparison, smokers are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer as nonsmokers. Again, nonsmokers do GET lung cancer, but 10 to 20 times is 1000% to 2000% more likely, so in our 100-person example, if 100 smokers got lung cancer, only 5 or 10 non-smokers would. Much bigger difference, and one which has a lot more credibility.)

      I also doubt the coffee paper controlled for family history. Per the American Diabetes Association, if an identical twin has diabetes, their twin’s risk is as high as 3 in 4.

  8. I hate coffee (a hell of a thing to confess on a blog written by someone who lives in Seattle, I know), but am a lifelong tea lover; I drink from three to six large mugs of black & green tea daily, mostly decaf. Now they seem to find a lot of nutrients in tea, some suggestions of health benefits, but I don’t remember reading that drinking tea will prevent diabetes, & I strongly doubt it. As you say, when you analyze it, it is not a very strong correlation. It is a lot like the negative correlations they love to make between fat & EVERYTHING, such as if 1 in 100 thin people get a hangnail, while 2 in 200 get one, you get, ‘Oh, my God, fat people TWICE as likely to get hangnails!” when it really means damnall!

  9. […]   Passport ownership prevents diabetes.   Do YOU have a passport?    Don’t forget to drink coffee! […]

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About Me

Former software tester, now retired heart patient having fun and working on building endurance and strength. See also About page.

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