Two double-shot espressos a day keeps the Prozac away?
Walter Willet and Alberto Ascherio (both of the Trans Fat Railroad) use their perpetual junk science machine (i.e., the Nurses Health Study) to posit that increasing caffeine consumption may be associated with decreasing risk of depression.
Though we love caffeine as much as the next awake person, Willet and Ascherio’s reported correlations (e.g., a relative risk of 0.82 for 4 or more cups of coffee per day) are too small to be credible.
As is standard with Nurses Health Study junk science, exposures, disease and confounding risk factors are all self-reported and, hence, not reliable. Simply put, bad data do not make for a credible statistical analysis.
No doubt Willet and Ascherio are relying on the intuitive nature of their claim to carry the day with the unsuspecting public and the ever-gullible media.
Coffee keeps you awake, but not from being sad about it.
BTW, if you’re interested in one of JunkScience.com’s early pieces (from November 1999) on the Willet-Ascherio Trans Fat Railroad, click here.