Earlier in the year the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report stated that coffee is OK for you and can be “incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.” Today, a CNN report cites another study that claims drinking coffee is bad for your heart.
It seems like every day the news media is reporting on a new study that contradicts a previous study. The DGAC said in February that the latest science indicates that as many as five cups of coffee a day is OK. It may even have some health benefits, it said, and pregnant women could indulge in a cup in limited amounts.
Now we have a CNN article saying coffee has been “associated” with health issues such as blindness and risk of lung disease. This follows a claim by the activist group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that alleged following the DGAC advice “could increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and childhood leukemia.”
So why are so many science headlines so confusing? Sensational headlines are just that – sensational and attention-grabbing – but are not always telling the whole story.
An article in Buzzfeed News on why science studies are constantly contradicting each other stated that “science isn’t a lightning bolt. It’s an incremental process: Slivers of evidence build on each other, over long periods of time, to (hopefully!) get at the truth.”
We agree. Society must look at the totality of scientific evidence before making a judgment. As David Ogilvy, an advertising executive known as “The Father of Advertising,” once said, “on the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”
So the next time you see a catchy headline remember that journalists are not usually scientists. Take a closer look at all the science available. Feel free to check out our Let’s Clear It Up website for the facts on our industry’s products and ingredients.