Coffee consumption in the United States has fluctuated only slightly with the average person consuming about 9.03 pounds of coffee in 2007, according to Earth Trends of the World Resource Institute.
While the sheer idea of consuming nearly ten pounds of coffee may seem shocking, Starbucks’ expansion across the United States is just one example of how much Americans like their coffee. Comparatively, the main exporter of coffee, Brazil, consumed an average of 5.6 kilograms per capita, or 11.42 pounds in 2007.
Coffee seems to be a way to safely sustain attention and improve otherwise fatigued reaction time, and throughout history across the world, it is a common social connection. And reports suggest that caffeine can even lessen the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes, according to an Archival of Internal Medicine article.
Although coffee and caffeine may have many benefits, consumption of coffee may come with risks as well including but not limited to heart disease, lack of sleep, caffeine dependency, and calcium deficiency.
One study by Paul Harrell and Laura Juliano, evaluated the effect of caffeine on expected “enhanced results” and “impaired results” hypothesizing that perceived alertness after drinking coffee is merely psychological.
The results concluded that participants tended to behave in accordance to what their category expected, such as impaired judgment or enhanced ability -- regardless of caffeine consumption.
Whether 9.03 pounds a year helps Americans feel more awake or reduces their likelihood of developing chronic diseases, coffee has one thing on it’s side: it’s being consumed at a steady rate.