People of a certain age will recall a 1980s advertising campaign that featured the “coffee achievers of American society—the movers and the shakers.” It showed clips of actress Cicely Tyson fake-slapping some guy during a rehearsal, glam-rocker David Bowie (who, incidentally, is English) and Annie and Nancy Wilson of Heart. “Hold on tight to your dreams,” someone sang in the background, and then a woman’s voice explained, “Coffee gives you the time to dream it.”
The ad was a clumsy appeal to younger people (those at the tail end of the Baby Boom), because coffee was viewed as something only old people drank. Late Baby Boomers (LBBs) preferred diet sodas that were more portable; these were the days before covered coffee containers. Coffee was associated with shaking but not necessarily moving. Marcus Welby himself (don’t ask if the name is unfamiliar) said so, as he recommended a truly awful-tasting instant decaf.
Coffee Achievers Needed Coffee With Taste
LBBs and the coming-of-age Generation X weren’t swayed by the ads as much as the emergence in the early ’90s of a certain chain of hip, tastefully decorated coffee shops. This coffee tasted good, and you could carry it out in an attractive, recyclable cup. As more varieties and flavors were created, more people turned to coffee chains to get their morning fix instead of waiting for something mediocre to drip through Mr. Coffee.
Of course, as soon as the Coffee Generation was converted, news about coffee’s ill effects came out. It’s addictive! It can upset your stomach! It will keep you up at night! It will harm you.
People who drink a lot of coffee—four servings or more per day, according to the Mayo Clinic—can experience a variety of negative side effects (although no mention of any coffee fatalities). Those who could regulate their coffee intake would enjoy increased alertness and improved concentration. Most of the LBBs and Gen X got the message and toned down their consumption.
Moderate Amounts of Coffee Deliver Healthful Benefits
Today, coffee lovers can imbibe a modest amount without fear. There are real, documented benefits to having a moderate amount of coffee every day. Fox News Health spoke with researchers from around the nation and found some interesting health benefits of enjoying a cup or two:
- Lots of nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, niacin and choline
- Major source for antioxidants
- Increased energy
- Better mood
One study by Harvard found that coffee drinkers had lower suicide rates than those who abstained. Cornell University reports that caffeine can lower the risk for glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
Finally, Fox reports that in some 10- and 15-year studies of coffee drinkers, it was discovered they were less likely to develop cancers of the breast, colon, basal cells, prostate, ovaries and liver, and less likely to suffer from stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 diabetes.