The health police - Whistle blown on latte habit


The health police: enough already!
Ever felt as if you were under citizen’s arrest when a well-meaning friend or stranger asked if you really needed that slice of cake? Or whether your kids should be outside on such a hot day? We’ve got the comebacks that’ll put the health police behind bars

By Bonny Reichert
First published in Chatelaine’s July 2003 issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.

Whistle blown on latte habit

The offence With a coffee house or doughnut shop on every third corner, who can resist? The drinks are hot in winter and cold in summer, they add few calories if you order them right, and they sure can perk you up on a sluggish morning. Of course they’re loaded with caffeine, a drug that isn’t famous for its healthy properties. So what’s a java junkie to do?

Background check Not everything about caffeine is bad. Since it’s a stimulant, it can enhance your performance at work. It can also help relieve tension headaches–in fact, it’s routinely added to over-the-counter painkillers. And as Pearson points out, lattes have the extra benefit of calcium. “If you’re going to have a coffee, have a latte,” she says. Although coffee is often believed to be a diuretic, the truth is that it actually hydrates the body and can be included in your daily fluid intake, even though it is not as effective as water. Moderation is the key, however, since too much caffeine can cause headaches, the shakes and sleeplessness as well as a temporary rise in blood pressure.

The verdict “As long as you have no more than about two cups a day, coffee presents no major health risks,” says Pearson. But if you’re still concerned, you could switch to tea. “Research on the benefits of tea is growing,” says Pearson. “It may reduce heart disease as well as the risk of some cancers.”

Your comeback “My bones love a latte, even if my wallet doesn’t.”

  • Intro
  • Pregnant woman takes drugs
  • New mother weans baby
  • Woman dares to wine and dine
  Whistle blown on latte habit
  • Canadians shirk the shot
  • Cancer patient ignores unsolicited medical advice
  • Safe medications for pregnant women
  • Tea benefits
  • Cold + flu guide
  • Trade health police stories in our Health forum

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