Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Gunter MJ, Murphy N, Cross AJ, Dossus L, Dartois L, Fagherazzi G et al. Coffee drinking and mortality in 10 european countries: a multinational cohort study. Ann Intern Med 2017; 167: 236–247.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Rajpathak S, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB . Changes in caffeine intake and long-term weight change in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 83: 674–680.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. van Dam RM, Hu FB . Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. JAMA 2005; 294: 97–104.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Wang A, Wang S, Zhu C, Huang H, Wu L, Wan X et al. Coffee and cancer risk: a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Sci Rep 2016; 6: 33711.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Grosso G, Godos J, Galvano F, Giovannucci EL . Coffee caffeine, and health outcomes: an umbrella review. Annu Rev Nutr 2017; 37: 131–156.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Nuhu AA . Bioactive micronutrients in coffee: recent analytical approaches for characterization and quantification. ISRN Nutr 2014; 2014: 384230.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jequier E . Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr 1980; 33: 989–997.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Bracco D, Ferrarra JM, Arnaud MJ, Jequier E, Schutz Y . Effects of caffeine on energy metabolism, heart rate, and methylxanthine metabolism in lean and obese women. Am J Physiol 1995; 269 (Pt 1): E671–E678.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Dulloo AG, Geissler CA, Horton T, Collins A, Miller DS . Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 49: 44–50.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Jung RT, Shetty PS, James WP, Barrand MA, Callingham BA . Caffeine: its effect on catecholamines and metabolism in lean and obese humans. Clin Sci (Lond) 1981; 60: 527–535.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Yoshida T, Sakane N, Umekawa T, Kondo M . Relationship between basal metabolic rate, thermogenic response to caffeine, and body weight loss following combined low calorie and exercise treatment in obese women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1994; 18: 345–350.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Harpaz E, Tamir S, Weinstein A, Weinstein Y . The effect of caffeine on energy balance. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol 2017; 28: 1–10.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Jessen A, Buemann B, Toubro S, Skovgaard IM, Astrup A . The appetite-suppressant effect of nicotine is enhanced by caffeine. Diabetes Obes Metab 2005; 7: 327–333.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Carter BE, Drewnowski A . Beverages containing soluble fiber, caffeine, and green tea catechins suppress hunger and lead to less energy consumption at the next meal. Appetite 2012; 59: 755–761.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Greenberg JA, Geliebter A . Coffee hunger, and peptide YY. J Am Coll Nutr 2012; 31: 160–166.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Allison DB, Fontaine KR, Heshka S, Mentore JL, Heymsfield SB . Alternative treatments for weight loss: a critical review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2001; 41: 1–28.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Greenberg JA, Boozer CN, Geliebter A . Coffee diabetes, and weight control. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 84: 682–693.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Johnston KL, Clifford MN, Morgan LM . Coffee acutely modifies gastrointestinal hormone secretion and glucose tolerance in humans: glycemic effects of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78: 728–733.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Nordestgaard AT, Thomsen M, Nordestgaard BG . Coffee intake and risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a Mendelian randomization study. Int J Epidemiol 2015; 44: 551–565.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Berkey CS, Rockett HR, Colditz GA . Weight gain in older adolescent females: the internet, sleep, coffee, and alcohol. J Pediatr 2008; 153: 635–639.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Larsen SC, Angquist L, Ahluwalia TS, Skaaby T, Roswall N, Tjonneland A et al. Dietary ascorbic acid and subsequent change in body weight and waist circumference: associations may depend on genetic predisposition to obesity—a prospective study of three independent cohorts. Nutr J 2014; 13: 43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Larsen SC, Angquist L, Sorensen TI, Heitmann BL . 24 h urinary sodium excretion and subsequent change in weight, waist circumference and body composition. PLoS One 2013; 8: e69689.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Grosso G, Micek A, Godos J, Sciacca S, Pajak A, Martinez-Gonzalez MA et al. Coffee consumption and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in smokers and non-smokers: a dose-response meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol 2016; 31: 1191–1205.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Thom E . The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. J Int Med Res 2007; 35: 900–908.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Onakpoya I, Terry R, Ernst E . The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2011; 2011: 382852.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Shimoda H, Seki E, Aitani M . Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006; 6: 9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Cho AS, Jeon SM, Kim MJ, Yeo J, Seo KI, Choi MS et al. Chlorogenic acid exhibits anti-obesity property and improves lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-induced-obese mice. Food Chem Toxicol 2010; 48: 937–943.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Murase T, Misawa K, Minegishi Y, Aoki M, Ominami H, Suzuki Y et al. Coffee polyphenols suppress diet-induced body fat accumulation by downregulating SREBP-1c and related molecules in C57BL/6J mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2011; 300: E122–E133.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Wang T, Huang T, Kang JH, Zheng Y, Jensen MK, Wiggs JL et al. Habitual coffee consumption and genetic predisposition to obesity: gene-diet interaction analyses in three US prospective studies. BMC Med 2017; 15: 97.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to S C Larsen.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Larsen, S., Mikkelsen, ML., 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).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links