Is coffee GOOD or BAD for you?

5 Reasons why coffee is good for you

  1. It boosts your mood– a study found that woman who drank four or more cups of coffee every day were 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression, coffee drinkers were half as likely to attempt suicide
  2. Helps ward off diabetes– people who drink a lot of coffee are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink smaller amounts, or no coffee at all, according to some studies due to it containing ingredients that lower blood sugar
  3. Protects Your Heart- Two or more cups of coffee each day could protect against heart failure, according to one Harvard Study
  4. Good for Parkinson’s– studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee could help people who have Parkinson’s disease manage their uncontrollable movements. Others have shown that having a higher intake of coffee is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s altogether
  5. Lends You a Longer Life– a study that accounted for poor lifestyle habits (eating red meat and skipping exercise, for instance), found that those who drank at least one cup of coffee each day lowered their risk of dying from lifestyle-related health problems over the period of a decade

 

5 Reasons why coffee is bad for you

  1. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion and heart burn
  2. The caffeine in coffee increases your stress hormones.  The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin.  Insulin increases inflammation and this makes you feel lousy
  3. Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to rely on the body’s natural source of energy
  4. It reduces fertility – according to some research it can prevent the full development of eggs
  5. It may cause cancer– emerging research has found that coffee contains acrylamide- a known carcinogen

There are more research and resources that are available to us that suggest coffee has more benefits rather than negative consequences, and so like most things in life, it is probably best to just drink it in moderation!

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THE SUGAR TAX

In my economics lesson today one of the topics we are studying at the moment is how to reduce the effect of demerit goods (a good or service which has greater social costs when it’s consumed than its private costs and tend to be over consumed), and of course your typical demerit goods such as smoking, gambling and sugar came up… But why isn’t there a sugar tax in the UK? It seems easy enough to tax people on their sugary foods to deter them from buying them and surely this benefits everyone?

Well yes it does have a lot of benefits but thats not quite all there is to it...

The taxation would deter people from buying these foods and reduce the risk of conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, and thus also benefiting the NHS as it would reduce the effects of this problems resulting from sugary foods in the UK and so allows the NHS to allocate more of their resources to other health departments.

However it is also important to see the other side of the argument- sugary food is much less expensive than ‘healthier’ foods and so for people on much lower incomes in particular, sugary foods are much more affordable to them. In particular with lower income groups, the sugar tax would take a higher proportion of their income thus making it regressive.

THE SOLUTION

Although both of these arguments are strong arguments and it is something that will be continuously debated, a point most people miss is that a sugar tax isn’t the only solution here….

  1. Something the government could do is subsidise healthier foods (where money is paid by the government to the producer of a good to make them reduce their costs)- this would make healthy foods more available to everyone
  2. Another HUGE problem in todays society is information failure. There is a HUGE information failure in the food market and if this failure were to be counteracted, it would make a large difference to the number of people who have health problems related to sugary foods. For example in your average flavoured yoghurt (silk peach soy yoghurt) there is 15g of sugar!!! Now firstly that figure is not emphasised enough on the packaging of this yoghurt but as well as this it is not a very easily interpreted  figure. 15g of sugar is the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar… 4 teaspoons of sugar in one yoghurt?!?! The average recommended for an adult per day is about 30g for those aged 11 and over… So to put this in perspective you are eating HALF of your recommended intake of sugars for the day in one very small yoghurt!! This information failure needs to be solved and one of the ways I personally think that society would benefit from, is writing the equivalence of the grams of sugar in a food, in teaspoons. This is easily understandable and easy to picture and might help people understand just how much sugar they are eating and lead them to make a healthier choice or to be aware of how much sugar they should aim to eat for the remainder of the day.

Overall, I think that before a sugar tax is considered, we should try to improve other aspects of packaging in sugary foods to counteract the information failure of this industry or subsidise healthier foods and try to make an improvement this way.

Next time you go shopping, think twice about the label!

10 SHOCKING facts about your body!

  1. Your heart can keep beating outside of your body– the heart is one of the very few muscles which is not regulated by the body, but within the heart itself. So as long as the heart has enough ATP to provide energy and exposure to oxygen it will continue beating for a short period after removed from the body2BCD3F0000000578-3215921-image-m-35_1440932445952.jpg
  2. There are mites living inside your eyelashes , that look like this-eyelash_mite.jpg
  3. The average adult has around 10 times more bacteria than human cells living inside their body
  4. There could be more bacteria living in your mouth than there are humans on the planetgetty_rf_photo_of_bacteria_viruses.jpg
  5. There is a disorder called Exploding Head Syndrome where you hear a really loud bang just as you are falling asleep
  6. When you blush, the lining of your stomach does too- blushing happens when a surge of adrenaline caused by anxiety or embarrassment makes capillaries widen all over your body, allowing more blood to flow. It is more obvious in your cheeks and stomach as the capillaries are closer to the surface there
  7. From around 30 years old you will loose around half an inch in height every ten yearsStages-of-height-loss.png
  8. By the age of 60 you loose about half of your taste buds
  9. Babies are born with over 90 more bones than they’ll have as adults- the extras will gradually fuse as they grow older
  10. Every atom in your body is billions of years old- 9.5% of your body is made from hydrogen made 13.7 billion years ago in the Big Bang. Carbon (making up 18.5% of your body) and oxygen (65%) were forged in stars and scattered across the universe when they died.big-bang-780093.jpg

You KNOW YOUR DEAD when you DIE?!

It’s hard to fathom that this might be the case, but recent studies show that a persons consciousness continues to work even after the person has died. Just imagine hearing your own death being announced by medics…

 

How does this happen? 

  • Medically, doctors define death based on when the heart no longer beats which then means the blood supply going to the brain is immediately cut off
  • So the brain stops working almost instantaneously and you loose all your brain stem reflexes 

  • The part of the brain which is responsible for thinking and processing information from the five senses ( the brain’s cerebral cortex) also instantly stops working and flatlines
  • This means that within 2 to 20 seconds no brainwaves will be detected on an electric monitor
  • This sparks a chain reaction of cellular processes that will result in the death of brain cells
  • Brain cells can take hours to die so this can take hours after the heart has stopped

 

However the researchers also found the experience of death can be very different for individual patients… So while I hope that I will be conscious for a bit after I die as it would be fascinating, I guess I will just have to wait and see like the rest of us.