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Showing posts from November, 2008

New Coffee Data, Coffee Cake for the Winter Holidays, and Longer Life For All

Like everyone else, I want to live forever. And I want everyone I love to live forever. That fact makes me completely ordinary. With that unconscious thought buzzing in my back brain, news from the Annals of Internal Medicine that regular coffee-drinking is associated with longer life jolted me into a state of subdued ecstasy! At long last, data on the impact of coffee on mortality.

About the Study
There were almost 130,000 people altogether, including 41,726 men and 86,214 women. At the beginning of the study, everyone was healthy---no cancer, no heart disease. Over the next 18 years, however, some people got sick. The researchers wanted to know how drinking coffee affected the risk of developing cancer or heart disease and death in general (during that 18-year period).

In men, drinking less than one cup of coffee a day was associated with a 7% higher risk of death. The stats got better as they drank more, however. Drinking 7 cups of coffee a week decreased the risk of death by 3% compa…

Virtuous Addictions?

Waking in the morning, the desire (ok the need) for coffee, is unassailable. However, it’s important not to position coffee as simply another vice. When Peter Martin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the VanderbiltUniversityMedicalCenter and Director of the Institute of Coffee Studies took the stage on October 21, 2004, to talk to a group of journalists, he mainly talked about the health benefits of coffee. But when the issue of addiction came up, he was ready. In most regular, serious, hard-core coffee-drinkers, coffee deprivation leads to serioussymptoms: Within 12 to 24 hours, those denied their daily java get headaches, become drowsy and irritable, feel weak and tense, are unable to concentrate, and may even vomit. Fortunately, after about 48 hours, the symptoms start to improve. It sounds serious. In fact, some psychiatrists suggest that coffee withdrawal should be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So after admitting that the belo…

Soaring Heights and Economic Concerns

In a recent issue of Good (Oct 16-22), Starbucks addressed the issue of the economy. The subtitle “booms, busts, and everything in between” aptly captures the gamut of terms and concepts that comprise economic understanding. There were many interesting definitions and facts cited. A few, in particular, stood out for me:
The very first Internet trade was in 1994In 1999, the Dow hit 11,000In October 2007 (just over a year ago), the Dow hit 14,164The national budget is financed by taxes and fees for public servicesFrom 1845 to 1945, the typical boom or bust lasted 21 months. Since World War II, expansions have averaged 50 months and contractions have averaged 11 months.
At the moment, the intensity of economic news is counterbalancing the surge of joy around the recent election. Despite the economy, Starbucks continues to be a destination. During the tediously long, and equally enthralling election cycle, Starbucks kept us cozy and caffeinated, while encouraging us to VOTE. Then it made go…