Consumers often receive out-of-date diet and health advice – do you agree?

Out of date advice?
Out of date advice?

Experts representing public health nutrition, preventive medicine, and consumer behaviour call for better health information.

European consumer research* conducted by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) to better understand beliefs, behaviours, and knowledge regarding coffee and a healthy diet, suggests consumers are confused about the potential health benefits of coffee, in part because the information they are receiving is not always in line with the latest science.

Moderate consumption of coffee at 3-5 cups per day has been associated with a range of desirable physiological effects such as improved alertness[1] and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes[2,3], cardiovascular disease[4,5] and cognitive decline[6,7]. It can be consumed as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, providing fluid and small amounts of some nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium and niacin. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also advised by EFSA that caffeine intakes of up to 200mg (2 cups of coffee) per day are considered safe for the foetus/infant[8].


To further explore the consumer research findings, ISIC invited three eminent experts representing public health nutrition, preventive medicine, and consumer behaviour to review and discuss the latest scientific research on coffee and health, consumers’ knowledge and attitudes, and the role of healthcare professionals in disseminating healthy diet advice.

Conclusions from the roundtable:

·         Many consumers are not aware of the potential health effects of coffee, with 49% believing it may cause health problems.

·         Consumers often obtain out-of-date information on coffee and health from the internet and media sources (such as magazines and TV) but also from healthcare professionals e.g. 56% of the survey respondents who believed that “drinking coffee increases the risk of heart disease” heard this either online, in a newspaper/magazine, or on TV and 16% heard this from a doctor, nurse, or dietician.

·         Consumers may not always distinguish between coffee and caffeine, viewing it purely as a stimulant, missing out on coffee’s specific components and potential physiological benefits.

Key Recommendations

·         HCPs need up-to-date accurate, science-based information that healthcare professionals can discuss and share with their patients.

·         Informing patients about the latest science on coffee could result in behavioural change as consumers begin to appreciate its role within a healthy diet.

·         More education is needed to help the general public identify reliable/unreliable information from media/online sources.

The experts were:

·         Prof Chris Seal: Professor of Food and Human Nutrition, and Chair of Board of Studies, Food & Human Nutrition BSc at Newcastle University, UK.

·         Prof Lluís Serra-Majem: Director of the Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, Spain

·         Dr Agnès Giboreau:  Research Director, Institut Paul Bocuse, France

Professor Lluís Serra-Majem commented: “We are increasingly seeing consumers obtain health information from the internet and media sources rather than from qualified healthcare professionals. We need to improve access to information for all parties, as in my experience healthcare professionals sometimes impart their own opinions to patients, even if this is only based on personal experience, not scientific fact.”

Professor Chris Seal continued: “Whilst key dietary messages such as ‘consume five portions of fruit and vegetables a day’ and ‘eat less fat, salt and sugar’ are well known, many remain unaware of the potential health benefits of coffee. Helping people to understand how regular daily consumption of 3-5 cups of coffee might reduce their risk of certain diseases and long-term health conditions could prompt behaviour change.”

Dr. Agnès Giboreau said: “Coffee is often drunk to accompany or conclude a meal therefore it’s important that consumers understand the value of what they’re drinking as well as eating. Personal habits, such as the way someone takes their coffee, are often based on experiences and cultural backgrounds, and so changing behaviour must be consistent with culture, beliefs and typical habits.”

There was unanimous agreement amongst the expert panel that healthcare professionals, including dietitians, nutritionists and clinicians, are the best source of reliable, scientifically-grounded information on healthy lifestyles for consumers. They are also best placed to advise consumers on where to find reliable information on coffee and a healthy diet. Healthcare professionals could also encourage consumers to analyse the credibility and validity of health information they read or see in the media. It was agreed that this group of professionals should be supported with regularly-updated educational material to ensure that the advice they give is accurate.

 

* 4119 respondents across 10 European countries were surveyed by ISIC through an independent research company in November 2015.

To read the roundtable report, ‘The good things in life: coffee as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle’ click here.

 

References

1.    EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading to a reduction in body fat mass (ID 735, 1484), increased energy expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight (ID 1487), increased alertness (ID 736, 1101, 1187, 1485, 1491, 2063, 2103) and increased attention (ID 736, 1485, 1491, 2375) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061. EFSA Journal;9(4):2054

2.    Huxley R. et al. (2009) Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relation to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch Intern Med, 169:2053-63.

3.    Zhang Y. et al. (2011) Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 21(6):418-23.

4.    European Heart Network, ‘European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2012’ Available at: http://www.ehnheart.org/cvd-statistics.html

5.    Ding M. et al (2014) Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circulation. 129(6):643-59

6.    Santos C. et al. (2010) Caffeine intake and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis, 20(1):187-204

7.    Palacios N. et al. (2012) Caffeine and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease in a Large Cohort of Men and Women. Movement Disorders, 1;27(10):1276-82

8.    EFSA (2015) Scientific Opinion on the Safety of Caffeine, EFSA Journal, 13(5):410

New review of caffeine and sleep studies highlights need for further research. Does caffeine keep you up at night?

Effect of caffeine and coffee on sleep quality varies, based on individual factors

Caffeine and sleep
Caffeine and sleep

Coffee, Caffeine, and Sleep[1], a systematic review by Ian Clark[2] and Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Landolt[3], both of the University of Zürich, examines the results of 58 peer-reviewed epidemiological studies and clinical trials into the effects of caffeine and coffee on sleep.

Overall, the review finds that caffeine typically prolonged sleep latency, reduced total sleep time and sleep efficiency, and worsened perceived sleep quality. Caffeine blocks the adenosine neuromodulator and receptor system, impairing a regulator of sleep-wakefulness. Individuals will respond differently to caffeine based on factors including their age and sensitivity levels.

The authors noted that the studies suggested possible evidence of a dose-response relationship between caffeine and sleep structure: for example, higher bedtime doses of caffeine reduced subjects’ amount of slow wave sleep (also known as ‘deep sleep’). No clear dose-response relationship was found in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Outside the laboratory, the authors expect that the general population is consuming enough caffeine to also impact their sleep.


The authors noted that caffeine exposure may be altered as a function of body weight, for example, older adults tend to consume the same amount of caffeine as younger adults but typically weigh less. Older adults may also self-limit the amount of caffeine they consume due to perceived sleep problems. The paper highlights the lack of research conducted into the effects of caffeine in this age group.

Several genes have also been identified that affect an individual’s sensitivity to caffeine. The ADORA2A and ADA genotypes, as well as the DARPP-32 and PRIMA1 genes, have all been connected to caffeine’s impact on a person’s sleep quality. The same amount of caffeine can therefore affect two otherwise similar individuals differently, depending on their genetic make-up.

Clark and Landolt point to a number of limiting factors in existing studies, predominantly the lack of research into the effects of caffeine on women, older adults, and individuals outside North America or Western Europe. Habitual caffeine intake in some study participants could also be a confounding variable when not controlled for.

The authors of Coffee, Caffeine, and Sleep note caffeine’s value as an aid in reducing sleepiness, especially for tasks such as driving at night – and cite the legend of a Yemenite abbot who prescribed coffee to his monks to aid them with their night time prayers. The paper finds no links between coffee consumption and negative health implications, but does note that poor sleep hygiene practices contribute to increased health risk. The review concludes by recommending areas where further research into caffeine and sleep is needed, such as further investigation of how and why an individual’s genetics could predispose them to caffeine-induced sleep changes, and establishing timing and dose-relationships relating to EEG sleep variables.

1.    Clark I and Landolt HP (2016) Coffee, Caffeine, and Sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews, doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.006, published online ahead of print

2.     Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Zürich, Switzerland

3.    Zürich Center of Interdisclipinary Sleep Research (ZiS), University of Zürich, Switzerland

Coffee – what are the health benefits of coffee and how do different countries view coffee and health?

Coffee, Diet and Health- what are the health benefits of coffee and how do different countries view coffee and health?

Despite a cultural love of coffee, over a third (39%) of Europeans are uncertain about the potential health benefits of coffee. Coffee remains integrated into the European lifestyle: predominantly drunk at home, at work or in cafes, with 40% of respondents saying coffee gets their day off to a good start.

The consumer research, conducted by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), surveyed over 4,000 people across 10 European countries[1], to understand their beliefs, behaviours, and knowledge regarding a healthy diet.

The results show that although 70% of Europeans believe they are healthy, many still don’t know what lifestyle changes they can make to help reduce their risk of common, serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. Age was an important determining factor: with the youngest and oldest respondents revealing the biggest knowledge gaps.


Coffee, Diet and Health
Coffee, Diet and Health

Key findings:

European respondents told us that they are healthy. Given the overall rise in obesity and related health problems in Europe, some respondents may be over-confident about their own health[2]:  

·         70% of Europeans overall described themselves as either ‘fairly healthy’ or ‘very healthy’

·         The French were most likely to describe themselves as either ‘fairly healthy’ or ‘very healthy’ (83%)

·         The Danes were most likely to describe themselves as either ‘fairly unhealthy’ or ‘very unhealthy’ (51%)

·         Coffee drinkers were 12% more likely to report better levels of health than non-coffee drinkers

·         76% of Europeans said they need more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle

·         46% of women and 40% of men said their New Year’s resolution was to eat more healthily in 2016

Day-to-day health anxieties are prioritised over longer-term health risks, according to the survey results, despite the fact that cancer[3], cardiovascular (heart) disease[4] and excessive alcohol consumption[5] are some of the biggest public health concerns in Europe:

·         24% of respondents wanted to better manage their stress levels (the most stressed country was Italy, with 32% of Italians worried about stress), and 28% wanted to feel more energetic and less fatigued (the most tired country was Finland, with 45% of Finns worried about fatigue); compared to just 12% overall who were concerned about getting cancer, and 10% who were concerned about their heart health

·         18-24 year olds are as likely to cut down on coffee for their New Year’s resolution as they are to cut down on alcohol (9% for both). Danes are 2% more likely to cut down on alcohol than coffee

Respondents often struggled to recognise the potential health benefits of coffee: 

·         71% of Europeans believe that drinking coffee does not help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (75% of those aged 55+ held this belief). However, scientific research suggests that drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day is associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes[6,7]

·         63% of Europeans believe that drinking coffee does not help to reduce the risk of mental decline in older people, for example Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (64% of those aged 55+ who answered this question held this belief). Yet research suggests that moderate, life-long consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s[8,9]

·         42% of Europeans believe that drinking coffee increases the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease (54% of those aged 18-24 held this belief). But scientific studies have suggested an association between moderate coffee consumption and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease[10,11]

Age plays a large role in defining respondents’ awareness of coffee’s role in a healthy diet:

·         On average, 18-24 year olds were the least successful at recognising the potential health benefits of coffee: for example, just over a quarter (28%) did not know that coffee can help increase concentration and alertness

·         Older respondents displayed very poor knowledge of diseases that could potentially pose the highest statistical risk to them: over half (56%) of those aged 35 and above are not aware of the potential health benefits of coffee relating specifically to cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease risk

67% of Europeans stated that they could not imagine life without coffee. The health effects of coffee consumption have been extensively researched: moderate consumption of coffee at 3-5 cups per day[12] has been associated with a range of desirable physiological effects and fits within a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised by EFSA to consume no more than 200mg of caffeine, per day, from all sources. This is equivalent to no more than two cups per day[13].

Professor Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University, UK said: “Many Europeans enjoy a cup of coffee, but clearly some feel guilty about drinking it – and unnecessarily so. Moderate, regular coffee consumption at 3-5 cups per day has been linked to a number of positive health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Hopefully, this means people will now enjoy their cup of coffee without the guilt.”

 

References

1.     4119 respondents across 10 European countries were surveyed by ISIC in November 2015

2.     World Health Organization, ‘Obesity: Data and Statistics’ Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/data-and-statistics

3.     World Health Organization, ‘Cancer: Data and Statistics’ Available at:  http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cancer/data-and-statistics

4.     World Health Organization, ‘Cardiovascular diseases: Data and Statistics’ Available at:  http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cardiovascular-diseases/data-and-statistics

5.     World Health Organization, ‘Alcohol use: Data and Statistics’ Available at:  http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/alcohol-use/data-and-statistics

6.     Huxley R. et al. (2009) Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relation to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch Intern Med, 169:2053-63

7.     Zhang Y. et al. (2011) Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 21(6):418-23

8.     Santos C. et al. (2010) Caffeine intake and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis, 20(1):187-204

9.     Barranco Quintana J.L. et al. (2007) Alzheimer’s disease and coffee: a quantitative review. Neurol Res, 29:91-5

10.  European Heart Network, ‘European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2012’ Available at: http://www.ehnheart.org/cvd-statistics.html

11.  Ding M. et al (2014) Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circulation. 129(6):643-59

12.  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ‘Moderate coffee drinking may lower risk of premature death’

Available at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/moderate-coffee-drinking-may-lower-risk-of-premature-death/

13.  EFSA (2015) Scientific Opinion on the Safety of Caffeine, EFSA Journal, 13(5):4102

How Regular Exercise Helps Lose Weight

Regular activity is very vital for good health and is especially much important if one is trying to cut off excess weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight levels. More body activities are needed when one intents to loose weight. The reason behind this is that physical activities increase the amount of calories your body uses for energy. The burning of calories through physical activities together with reduced amounts of calories intake creates caloric deficit that results in weight loss.

Accelerates Burning of Calories

Fitness and Weight Loss
Fitness and Weight Loss

According to latest weight loss news & tips most of the weight loss occurs due to reduced caloric intake. However, evidence shows that the only way to lose drastically is to get engaged in regular physical activities. Regular physical activities can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular and diabetes apart from weight loss. Physical activities also help reduce high blood pressure, minimizes chances of contacting type 2 diabetes, heart attack and several forms of cancer. They also reduce the risk of arthritis, pain and associated disability, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and also minimize symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Weight loss activity has for a long time been confused with a pack of myths that have no scientific proofs behind them. However, there a few tips that are mainly based from scientific findings by some of the world’s most qualified scientists and have been rated with positive implications towards weight loss approaches. This is a high time to dawn light broadly to everyone that regular exercises works out perfectly with the combination of the following latest weight loss tips. Here are some of the latest lifestyle news and tips for weight loss that are worth trying:

  1. Drink much water prior to mealtime

This is an open truth and for real drinking water before meals works out perfect to enhance weight loss. One boosts metabolism by 24 to 30% over a period of 1 to 1.5hours by drinking water. This helps in burning excess calories. Drinking water about half an hour before meals helps dieters eat fewer calories and loose approximately 44% more weight.

  1. Consume protein-rich breakfast

Apart from nutritional benefits that one gets by eating eggs, it also helps him/her lose weight. Numerous studies have found that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs help you eat fewer calories for the next few hours. You will also feel satisfied for the better part of the day before main meals. Won’t this prevent you from reaching out to unhealthy snacks? This helps one lose more weight and body fat. If at all you can’t eat eggs at all, any source of quality protein for breakfast can tickle out the trick.

  1. Make black coffee your favorite beverage

Coffee has been unfairly demonized over years and for real quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants that that contains lots of health benefits. Research shows caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 4-10% and thus increase fat burning up from 15-30%. However, it is recommendable to avoid using too much sugar because it is rich in calories which can completely negate all the benefits you may expect from the coffee. In addition, taking green tea also works out in a similar way as coffee since it contains some fractions of caffeine that works in synergistic ways to enhance the burning of excess fats. It can be taken either as a beverage or green tea extract supplement.

  1. Use coconut oil in all your meals

Coconut oil is very healthy and its high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides which are metabolized differently than other fats. One should replace his/her current cooking oil with coconut oil and this will boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, reduce appetite to the extent that you start eating 25% fewer calories per day.

  1. Take supplements

In reference to online publications of the latest lifestyle news and tips, supplementing has always been an option for those who can’t have access to balanced diets that are rich in minerals and essential nutrients. There are many supplements that are rich in fiber, which helps to absorb water and sits in the gut for long hours, making you feel fuller and helping you eat fewer calories.

Additional Tips

In addition to the above factors, one should also cut on added sugar, eat less refined carbs by switching to a low carb diet, exercise portion control or count calories, keep health food around in case he/she gets hungry and above all, use smaller plates that makes you get used to eating small amounts of food.  This will ensure that you are burning more calories than you eat.

Conclusion

Excess weight comes about as a result of poor eating habits that result in excess calories. No one enjoys it when he/she is reading overweight. This makes him or her uncomfortable and this limits the social life that one lives. Therefore, for comfort, regular exercises and better eating habits help one to live a healthy and happy life.

References

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/fitness/

https://www.glozine.com/lifestyle/health

3-5 cups of coffee per day may reduce Cardiovascular Disease mortality risk by up to 21%


Coffee and Cardiovascular disease
Coffee and Cardiovascular disease

A recent report by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health, highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality risk.

The report concludes that, based on current research, moderate coffee consumption at approximately 3–5 cups per day may have a protective effect against CVD mortality risk. The finding is significant given that coronary heart disease and stroke remain the primary cause of death across Europe; responsible for 51% of all deaths in women and 42% of all deaths in men. Over four million people die from CVD annually in Europe and overall, CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €196 billion every year.

Carlo La Vecchia, Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community, University of Milan, commented:  “It is important to acknowledge factors which might have a protective effect against CVD mortality. Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing CVD mortality risk which would impact health outcomes and healthcare spending across Europe.”


Key report highlights:

  • The lowest CVD mortality risk is seen at an intake of approximately 3 cups of coffee per day, with a percentage risk reduction of up to 21%.1
  • Two 2014 meta-analyses suggest an association between coffee consumption and CVD risk, proposing a ‘U-shaped’ pattern whereby optimal protective effects were achieved with 3-5 cups of coffee per day.3,4
  • Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day is associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming none or less than 2 cups per day.1 People with diabetes typically have a higher CVD mortality risk, therefore this association may be linked to a decreased CVD risk.5
  • Half of CVD cases in women could be avoided by modifying lifestyle choices, as approximately 73% of CHD cases and 46% of clinical CVD are attributable to an unhealthy lifestyle.6

The mechanisms of action behind the associations are unclear, however areas of interest for future research include the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of coffee, and the known association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes risk reduction as CVD mortality is typically higher in this group.  It is important to note that results differ between varying populations; it is suggested that 2 cups of coffee per day may offer the greatest protection in a Japanese population, whilst 3 cups may provide the greatest protection in UK and US populations.

For more information on coffee and cardiovascular health, click here