A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Coffee drinkers tend to take a lot of flak. Not as much flak as smokers or, say, McNuggets addicts. But we get our fair share. Even if it’s not an outright “you shouldn’t drink that,” there is often the implicit judgement that comes beneath frequent comments like, “I’m just so into tea,” or “I’m super sensitive to caffeine.” That’s when I tell them that I could drink a Big Gulp full of the stuff and then take a nap quite easily.
Whenever I’ve been sick and therefore naturally not drinking my morning mug (carafe), I tell myself this is the perfect opportunity to ride the wave and quit for good. It never lasts, because I can never really connect with the reason why I ought to quit. And yet, the guilt persists.
Well, now we can all breathe a sigh of relief and take an extra sip, because The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study which states that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of dying from a number of often fatal diseases than those who “never touch the stuff.” Over 400,000 American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members were surveyed and followed over the course of fourteen years.
By the time the scientists finished collecting their data in 2008, 52,000 participants had died. This fact alone gives me the creeps and makes me stop to think about how strange it must be to live the life of a researcher.
But, more to the point, those trusty science guys determined that those men and women who are frequent coffee drinkers (two to six-plus cups per day, caffeinated or not) were 10% and 15% respectively less likely to die than those who abstain. According to The New York Times:
“…the data showed that the more coffee a person consumed, the less likely he or she was to die from a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, infections and even injuries and accidents.”
Lookiehere! I feel so vindicated. So validated. I always knew that drinking coffee prevented things like violent outbursts when waiting in slow lines, accidental punching of strangers who get too close on the subway, irritability towards spouses and children, and heads hitting conference tables during important meetings. Also, coffee helps immensely with important health conditions like Chronic Brainfart, Lazy Leg Syndrome, Extreme Sleepyface Disorder, and irregularity.
Now diabetes too? Gravy.
This is a very exciting development, and I feel these researchers have opened the door to a world of possibilities. What else can be proven to cause less death? Cookies? Booze? Stinky cheese? Oh em gee: Fresca? Stop it. Just stop it right now.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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