Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025
Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.
To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.
When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were. The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.
And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.
By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association
Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on
creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to
Americans for the next 5 years.
Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.
To learn more about science, coffee, and why the research matters, join the experts from the NCA Scientific Leadership Council for “The Coffee Science Fair: A Fun Look at a Serious Topic,” a special educational session at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta, GA on March 8.
Scientists have been investigating the links between coffee and cancer for decades. And while our understanding of coffee’s potential health benefits has improved with advances in research, there’s still more to learn.
Yet the coffee-cancer connection has recently reappeared in the news, due to the ongoing Prop 65 legislation in California to put misleading “cancer warning labels” on coffee.
So, what do coffee drinkers need to know?
In following interview written by Elizabeth Mendes, American Cancer Society researchers Susan Gapstur, PhD, and Marjorie McCullough, ScD, explain what the studies really show when it comes to coffee and cancer, and discuss what other research is still needed.
From functional ingredients to sustainable practices, new consumer values are transforming market trends.
The following post originally appeared in Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
The coffee industry is again going through a transformation, driven by shifting consumer values in an increasingly connected global landscape.
Today, people are using their purchasing decisions to support companies that reflect their values and introduce new innovations.
“The theme of this year’s NCA Convention [March 7-9, 2019 in Atlanta] is ‘coffee at a crossroads.’ In this time of unprecedented change, the decisions we make today as an industry will determine our direction in the years to come,” says Bill Murray, NCA President & CEO.
Here’s what to watch (and watch out for) in the year ahead:
Coffee may be the greatest nutritional miracle in our world today. What other delicious beverage gives you such a bright, optimistic outlook while making a tremendous impact on your overall health, well-being, and longevity?
Coffee is also one of the greatest indulgences, a sensory experience that rivals the best wines. How else can you make such a robust improvement with such minimal effort. That wasn’t always the case.
I’ve written more than a dozen books on nutrition including two on Coffee. When I was chief medical correspondent for Dateline NBC, Today, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News from the 1980s into the 2000s, and most recently as a contributor on Dr. Oz, we were always on the lookout for the next great nutrition story.
Ironically, we were alert to stories about why coffee was bad for you. At that time, coffee had a reputation for causing harm, and most people feared that it was unhealthy.
As spring rolls in, consumers start thinking about “form and function.” While this usually means getting “winter bodies” into shape, functionality is playing a greater role in beverages.
Earlier this year, NCA held a webinar entitled, “US Coffee Outlook 2018: Latest Market Trends and Future Market Growth.” Eric Penicka, senior research analyst with global market intelligence firm, Euromonitor International, who was the webinar presenter, noted that the key ingredients for the future are convenience and function. Both will lead to value growth.
A massive meta-analysis suggests that the benefits of daily coffee consumption outweigh the risk.
“The bottom line is that we suggest [coffee] can be a good part of a healthy diet.”
– Robin Poole, University of Southampton
Science continues to suggest that coffee is good for you.
Based on a systematic umbrella review of 201 meta-analyses recently published in the BMJ, researchers from the University of Southampton found that moderate coffee consumption was more often associated with benefit than harm.
Drinking three to four cups of coffee a day showed the greatest benefit in terms of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, versus not drinking coffee. (Drinking coffee beyond these amounts was not associated with harm, but the benefits were less pronounced.)
One of today’s challenges isn’t finding enough information on a particular subject, but rather deciding how to evaluate all the information that’s available. Is that information unbiased, expert, and useful?
This is true not only for coffee drinkers, but also for consumers seeking information about the impact of coffee on their health. Sorting through the headlines, opinions, blog posts, and advice columns isn’t easy, which is why it is always best to seek out any underlying research on a topic. (For insight into evaluating coffee-and-health research, see “Behind the Headlines: Coffee, Health, and Research.”)
We were reminded of this after an NCA member recently asked, “Does coffee contain gluten?”