Habitual coffee consumption and changes in measures of adiposity: a comprehensive study of longitudinal associations



A relationship between change in coffee consumption and reduced long-term weight gain has been suggested, but current evidence is inconsistent.


To examine longitudinal associations between coffee consumption and changes in body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI), body fat percentage (BF %) and waist circumference (WC).


The study consisted of 2128 participants from the Danish part of the MONICA (Monitoring Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease) cohort with repeated information on coffee consumption, adiposity measures and covariates during an 11-year period. Linear regression analyses were conducted to assess the associations between baseline coffee consumption and subsequent change in adiposity measures. The same analyses were conducted analyzing associations between change in coffee consumption and concurrent as well as subsequent changes in adiposity measures.


We found no consistent evidence of associations between baseline coffee consumption and subsequent 6-year changes in adiposity measures. A statistically significant association between increased coffee consumption over a 6-year period and decreased concurrent gain in BMI, FMI, BF % and WC (−0.05 kg m−2 (95% confidence interval (CI): −0.07, −0.02), −0.04 kg m−2 (95% CI: −0.06, −0.02), −0.08% (95% CI: −0.13, −0.04) and −0.23 cm (95% CI: −0.34, −0.12), respectively, per 1 cup day−1 increase in coffee consumption) was found. No association was seen between change in coffee consumption and concurrent change in FFMI. Moreover, an initial change in coffee consumption during the first 5-year period was not associated with change in adiposity during the subsequent 6-year period.


Increased coffee consumption was associated with a decreased concurrent gain in body weight, fat mass and waist circumference, but the associations were weak. Moreover, a causal relationship could not be established, as we found no evidence of associations between an initial change in coffee consumption and subsequent change in adiposity.

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Correspondence to S C Larsen.

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Larsen, S., Mikkelsen, M., Frederiksen, P. et al. Habitual coffee consumption and changes in measures of adiposity: a comprehensive study of longitudinal associations. Int J Obes 42, 880–886 (2018) doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.310

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