Drinking Coffee May Prolong Life

March 14, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. longevity 
[lon-JEV-i-tee, lawn-] (n.) – long life
Example: Healthy lifestyle can lead to a person’s longevity.

2. inversely proportional [in-VURS-lee- pruh-PARW-shuh-nl, -POHR-] (expression) – a relationship in which one increases while the other decreases or vice versa
Example: Weight and amount of exercise are inversely proportional with one another.

3. hindrance [HIN-druh ns] (n.) – a block or barrier that prevents a person from doing something
Example: Eating unhealthy food is a hindrance to getting a balanced diet.

4. sedentary [SED-n-ter-ee] (adj.) – not very active
Example: Office workers tend to be sedentary because they sit down most of the time.

5. decaffeinated [dee-KAF-uh-ney-tid] (adj.) – with no caffeine (a substance that makes a person overly energetic or active)
Example: Juliet loves decaffeinated coffee because unlike normal coffee, it does not make her overactive.

Read the text below.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that coffee could promote longevity among coffee drinkers. Coffee could also reduce the risks of death caused by heart and respiratory diseases, stroke, injuries, accidents and infections.

Dr. Neal Freedman, a National Cancer Institute researcher, led the 12-year study involving almost 500,000 Americans with ages between 50 and 71. This study is considered the largest and most comprehensive research about the advantages of coffee so far.

Although previous studies suggested that coffee might be harmful for the health, researchers found a relationship between drinking coffee and long life. Coffee drinkers who drank two to three cups of coffee have 10% to 15% less chance of dying early compared to non-coffee drinkers. Hence, coffee consumption and early death were inversely proportional with each other.

However, people who drank two to three cups a day and those who drank more than three cups got equal health benefits.  These results show that drinking more cups of coffee does not necessarily increase health benefits.

On the other hand, the researchers discovered that smoking acted as a hindrance for coffee drinkers hoping for longer life.  The study also suggested that most coffee drinkers tend to be smokers or to practice unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol, eating red meat and having a sedentary life.

However, researchers failed to find out what exact chemicals in coffee cause long life and whether normal coffee gives better results than decaffeinated coffee. Freedman hopes that future studies will focus on these unanswered questions.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         After reading the article, would you drink more coffee than usual? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are other benefits of drinking coffee? How about its harmful effects?

Discussion B

·         Do you immediately follow a health advice that you have read or heard about? Why or why not?
·         How do you make sure that a health advice is true?


March 14, 2013