The purposes of this study were to perform a detailed analysis how: i) the frequency of coffee/tea consumption and ii) the use of additives in coffee/tea is associated with measures of total and abdominal obesity.
3,823 participants of the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were examined. Obesity was assessed by BMI and waist circumference (WC). Coffee and tea consumption and use of additives were assessed by questionnaire.
Coffee consumption was not related to BMI or WC in either gender. However, men who drank ≥2 cups of tea per day had lower BMI (25.9 vs. 28.0 kg/m2) and WC (95.2 vs. 101.32 cm) values than men who never drank drink tea (p ≤ 0.05). The associations between tea consumption and BMI or WC were no longer significant after adjustment for additive use. Coffee/tea drinkers who used artificial sweeteners had larger (p ≤ 0.05) BMIs than coffee/tea drinkers who did not use sweeteners (28.2 vs. 27.1 kg/m2 in men, 28.4 vs. 27.1 kg/m2 in women).
Frequency of coffee/tea consumption was not associated with measures of obesity because additive use explained the association between tea consumption and obesity in men. Artificial sweetener use within coffee/tea was associated with higher BMI.