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A new study shows that men who drink more than two cups of tea a day have trimmer waistlines than men who drink coffee or nothing at all. But the same doesn’t hold true for women.
Researchers say previous studies have looked at coffee- and tea-drinking habits and obesity in general, but little is known about how these habits affect abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity, or excess fat around the midsection, has been linked to a number of health risks, including heart disease and diabetes.
The study, presented this week at the First International Congress on Abdominal Obesity, looked at the relationship between coffee and tea drinking and abdominal obesity in 3,823 adults who participated in the 2003-2004 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
“The potential association between coffee/tea and abdominal obesity is not trivial considering that more than 60 percent of the adult population drinks coffee/tea, that these beverages can be consumed as frequently as 10 times per day, and that a high percentage of coffee and tea drinkers use additives in these beverages,” wrote researcher D. R. Bouchard and colleagues at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
The results showed that coffee consumption wasn’t related to abdominal obesity in men and women after adjusting for other risk factors.
The use of sugar vs. artificial sweeteners did seem to play a role in abdominal obesity. It’s what tea drinkers put in their tea that made the difference.
In men, the use of sugar in tea was associated with a nearly 1-inch smaller waist measurement, but the use of artificial sweeteners was linked to a nearly 2-inch larger waistline.
Among women, the use of milk in tea was associated with a two-thirds-of-an-inch smaller waistline. But women who used artificial sweeteners had an average of a nearly 1-inch larger waistline.