Review of Cafe or Nay?

January 3, 2012
Coffee helps millions of people across the world start their day. It is an honored tradition in some cultures and a refined art in others. Although the immediate effects are beneficial, is consuming this beverage in large amounts healthy? Scientists have been trying to answer this for decades. In Café or Nay, Christie Aschwanden explores this debate. Many studies have been published that support both sides: healthy and unhealthy. Evidence shows heavy coffee drinkers may have an increased chance of lung cancer, but they may also have a 60% decrease in risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Aschwanden explains that French doctors in the 1600s would disapprove of it, as it “disaccustomed people from the enjoyment of wine.” With no conclusive evidence to push the argument either way, it is doubtful that coffee will ever lose its place in the morning routine of so many people.

The general population is being worn thin; people have a hard time cramming a day’s work in twenty four hours. With such schedules, adults young and old need to maximize their daily output. As many have little time to sleep and recharge, coffee provides an excellent pick-me-up. Some are so dependent on this boost that they can’t go a day without drinking multiple cups. Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation.” If a person cannot physically function without consuming copious amounts of coffee, then it seems that the drink itself shouldn’t be their cause for concern. More frightening is their lifestyle that makes caffeine a necessity.

Caffeine is a drug like any other mind altering substance; however, it isn’t often labeled as such due to its popularity. This stimulant can have the same addictive properties as nicotine or alcohol, just with less obvious effects. It isn’t healthy to be dependent on anything to get through the day, whether it’s coffee or something more dangerous. To lead a healthy lifestyle, it is important to be able to find energy naturally through rest, exercise, and a balanced diet. The moment one starts requiring something to continue normal day to day life, a change is likely in order.

Nevertheless, it is not all bad news about coffee. A nice cup of joe can turn the meanest grouch into an angel in the morning or help a college student stay up late to finish a paper. No matter what, coffee will always be a part of society. Everybody who enjoys it has a different reason. Some love the feeling of warmth it delivers, others just like shelling out hundreds of dollars at Starbucks each month. It is not something to be afraid of, but just a reminder that nothing is healthy in too large of quantity.

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