Is Coffee Actually Good for You? with Robert Davis


Jonathan: Hey, everyone! Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. I got to tell you, folks, this is a show that I am looking forward to quite a bit. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of today’s guest’s most recent book and I have just been devouring it. Then, I come to find his website, which is called Everwell.com, which has just got all this awesome health information videos, and basically, this gentleman is all over the place in a good way.

He’s an award-winning health journalist whose works appeared on CNN, PBS, WebMD and the Wall Street Journal. He’s the editor-in-chief and president of the aforementioned wonderful website Everwell.com. He’s the author of the new book Coffee Is Bad, wait, that’s crossed off, Good for You, and he’s a PhD. He has a master’s in Public Health. Robert J. Davis, welcome to the show.

Robert: Thanks, Jonathan. Great to be with you.

Jonathan: Well, Robert, you are a busy, busy man and it sounds like we are cut from the same cloth a little bit because it seems like you are busiest because there are so many contradictory and confusing health claims out there that you want to add some clarity to the mess.

Robert: Absolutely. You know, Jonathan, I’ve been covering health and medicine as a journalist for many years, and often, the questions I get are about nutrition. Is it really true that Cheerios can lower my cholesterol? Is it really true that red wine is good for me? Is it really true that red meat is bad, and on and on and on. And often, the information that people get is so confusing, so contradictory. Family, friends, readers, viewers of mine constantly have questions, and so, what I try to do in my work for this book and other work that I’ve done is to cut through the clutter to try to answer some of the questions, looking at the signs, not looking at agendas people have, not looking at the hype, but trying to cut through that and look at the signs and try to give information in an objective, unbiased way.

Jonathan: Well, sir, I think you may have just signed yourself up to become a recurring guest on this show because that is what we are all about and let’s dive right into it. You mentioned in there this idea that Cheerios lowers cholesterol. Certainly, something that has been most effectively marketed. Is this true?

Robert: Well, it’s partly true. It depends on how many bowls of Cheerios you’re willing to eat. The studies do suggest, generally, that oat cereals, oat bran, oat meal can lower cholesterol. Now, granted, many of those studies have been funded by Quaker, others who have invested interest, but if you look at the study as a whole, and that’s what I try to do in my work, let’s not focus on individual studies. Look at what scientists call the totality of the evidence. Looking at studies that were industry-funded as well as those that were not industry-funded, I think a reasonable conclusion is that there is decent evidence that eating oat cereals or oat bran and so forth, on a regular basis, we’re not talking about occasionally but every day, can have a modest effect on cholesterol levels.

Jonathan: Robert, I loved it when you said the totality of evidence because it even becomes maybe more challenging for the average consumer because certainly the evidence is clear. In my experience as well, when you look at the totality of it that continuous consumption of whole grains, especially oats and things like that, can lower total cholesterol. But then, of course, we dig a level deeper and say well, if we’re lowering total cholesterol, especially lowering HDL cholesterol, is that even beneficial in the first place? Maybe it’s lowering it but does that actually helping us?

Robert: Right. That’s an excellent point because I think what we’re finding is an emergence of some newer ideas about cholesterol. That’s some of the old paradigms that we believe. It’s simply a matter of just lowering your cholesterol overall and the total cholesterol. And having to lower total cholesterol is a good thing and that’s what we should shoot for is oversimplified. It’s even more complicated than HDL is good and LDL is bad. And so that’s an example of evolving science that can be very frustrating, that some of the old advice that we gotten is not necessarily true. I think you point out some of the complexity here that is often missing in the media coverage of this issue as well as some popular writings and books and things that we see on the Internet.

Jonathan: Robert, you’ve made a career out of trying to cut through this clutter, but one of the challenges it seems is, in order to cut through the clutter, nuance is required. Even talking about this cholesterol, there’s nuance. We can’t just say lower your cholesterol. We have to say well… Same thing seems with even body composition. Right? Just telling someone to eat less food. Eating less vegetables is obviously not good for your health.

Robert: Right.

Jonathan: How do we balance this need for nuance with the need for practicality and simplicity?

Robert: Well, what I tell people is that first of all, and I say this at the risk of harming my own profession, journalism, is to tune out most media messages. Bcause the problem is that the information that we get from the news media, and in fact, the news media are the leading source of information when it comes to nutrition for most people. But my argument is that really this information all too often is misleading and that we’re best served by generally tuning it out. And the reason is that the information is delivered in snippets that are devoid of context, that don’t have context.

What I mean by that is that we’ll hear new study that finds that, for example, prune juice make your ear sloppy, whatever it may be. And people say oh, that’s terrible, I’m not going to drink prune juice. Then, six months later or a year later, there’s another study, the media report that say that prune juice is good for you and people throw up their hands. The problem is not necessarily the science, the problem, as you say, it’s lack of context, lack of nuance, to say well, this is just one study. What do studies as a whole say is this about prune juice. I think unless the media, and often they don’t do this, I say they, it’s really we, as journalists don’t put things in the context.

There’s really no way for us to properly interpret the information. So I think the short answer to your question, Jonathan, is that it’s important to find the right sources of information. To look beyond the news media, look beyond what’s online, look beyond what’s in your local paper, what’s on the 30-second clip on your local news to look to other sources for health information, information about diet and nutrition to get to the totality of the evidence because that’s really the only way we’re going to get this nuance. We’re going to get sort of the full stories so that we can make truly informed decisions.

Jonathan: Robert, it’s so empowering, is maybe the wrong word, but let’s say interesting. The point you made about almost ignoring all of this information that is constantly thrown at us because it gets back to this idea where if we did, just hypothetically, let’s imagine we could use the little device they had in the Men InBlack movies and erase our memory of everything we’ve “learned” about nutrition over the past 40 years, and we did what our grandmothers did.

Robert: That’s right.

Jonathan: It seems we would be much healthier.

Robert: I would agree with that.

Jonathan: Listeners, I’m out of business because just forget everything and go back in time.

Robert: With a few tweaks, of course, but I think that’s a good way to think about it. Now obviously, there are some things that were done in that past that we can improve upon, and I think that’s really the nature of science. One thing that I think is important, and I stress in my book and when I speak to groups, is that we, in fact, have the capacity really to be smarter than our ancestors. As you say, they did the right things not based on science but just based on their practices and based on instincts. But I think the truth, though, is that we also now are armed with studies and data and research and information that previous generations didn’t have access to.

We have large cohort studies. Those are the studies that follow people over years or decades. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people following, recording what they ate and saying what kinds of outcomes there were, what kinds of conditions they developed. We have clinical trials. We have all kinds of evidence now. A large bodies of evidence that didn’t exist 30, 40, 50, 100 years ago that really can inform us, really can make us smarter and able to make informed decisions.

The challenge, though, is interpreting that information properly, putting it to use. This is I think the supreme paradox we face now because we have more information than ever that can make us smarter and make us savvier when it comes to how to eat to be healthy. But often this information is spun and misquoted and misapplied in a way that confuses us, and so, in some ways, as you point out, makes us less healthy than our ancestors were, which is a huge paradox because we should be more healthy because we have access to better information about the healthiest ways to eat.

Again, I think what is important here is to remember that so that we don’t just dismiss science and say well, we’re going to tune out everything that science currently shows. Because again, to me, the problem is not the science. In fact, we can benefit from the science. The challenge is putting that science to proper use, interpreting it properly.

Jonathan: Robert, I couldn’t agree with you more, and what I found most empowering about a decade plus of deep scientific research is using it to understand why certain approaches work and decoupling variables. What I mean by that is — this is just one observation I have made in my studies. I’m curious as to what you think is– if you would listen to the media, they would have you believe that you can either be a vegetarian, or you can eat the standard American diet and there’s no in-between. Meaning there’s no way of eating that is extremely high in vegetables and also includes animal products. And when you start to see — for example, in a lot of these studies that’s how vegetarianism. Again, vegetarianism can be super healthy, it can also be super unhealthy if all you’re eating is processed garbage that is plant-based. It can be super healthy if you’re eating high-quality foods just like a non-vegetarian diet could be if you’re eating high-quality foods.

My point is more that when we don’t use science, we have these blunt observational statements made which is this group of vegetarians was healthier than this group of non-vegetarians but there’s fifty different variables between those group so we can’t just say well, just be a vegetarian. Because if you’re a vegetarian eating the wrong kinds of foods, you’re not any healthier. It allows us to understand in this observation why. What are the biochemical and endocrinological underpinnings that may have led to this and what can we learn from that? Rather than just making these wild observational claims. What do you think?

Robert: I agree completely, and I think you’re absolutely right. I think, again, that’s a matter of interpreting, as you say, interpreting the science properly and figuring out what are the most important messages that we can get from it and apply. I think that also is partly a reflection of what I call the emergence of food ideologies. These are sort of extreme views to be healthy you must be a vegetarian. To be healthy you must eat only a certain way. You must detoxify your body. Whatever it is. And I find that there are more and more of these perhaps because of the Internet. I think it contributes greatly to this. I think social media do where people latch on the science, misinterpret its message, and then focus on an extreme way of eating. An ideology as it were.

I call it an ideology because it’s really based more on faith than science, and akin, really, to religious zeal that you must eat this in this narrow way in order to be healthy, and this is the only way to eat to be healthy. When, in fact, what’s important is the overall composition of your diet. As you say, vegetarianism is a perfect example. Vegetarian is fine for those who follow vegetarian diet in a healthy way. You can also eat in an unhealthy way and be a vegetarian, as you say. But I think for those who advocate, as some do, that the only healthy diet is a vegetarian diet and take evidence to support that claim are misapplying the evidence when they do that. At least in my view, based on my review of the literature.

Jonathan: Robert, why is it, you think — I’m going to get a little metaphysical and philosophical here. But it seems, maybe, that humans, like you said just then, there can be healthy, and let’s judge healthy by objective standards like blood markers and things we understand to indicate health and things we understand indicate dyshealth and disease. We could say my goal is to recommend a way of eating that promotes health and that certainly can be from myriad food sources but we don’t. We shift more to these ideological things of saying well I don’t care if you’re healthy or unhealthy. The right way to eat is low carb, or the right way to eat is vegan, or the right way to eat is Paleo or Mediterranean or blah. It seems people become more attached to the means, aka the specific type of diet ideology, rather than the end. Is it making someone healthier and happier? Why? Why is that? Or maybe I’m just imagining it?

Robert: No, no. I think you’re right, or perhaps I would say that people assume that these particular approaches to eating are the healthiest way to eat without demanding the proof or the evidence that they are. And I think that there’s a decoupling, as you suggest, of the evidence or of the ultimate goal which should be to be healthier from the diet itself. I think part of this is that, and it’s understandable, it’s human nature. We all look for simple answers, and when someone says here’s a simple answer. Do A, B, C and D, and be on this team. This is the way. Join the Paleo team, or join the low-carb team, or whatever it is, and you can believe in this and do this. It makes the entire experience of figuring out what to eat a lot simpler. And the truth is that there are lots of shades of grey and there are, as you say, lots of nuances and subtleties here that need to be taken into consideration. I think that, as you say, there’s a lack of focus on the outcomes rather than maybe some short-term benefits as well. And that’s another thing we can talk about. But sometimes, I think people latch on to these because they find that maybe they can, for example, their goals is to lose weight in the short-term so that’s what they’re focused on and whatever diet they’re on, a detox diet, for example, does that for them, but what they’re losing sight of is that in the long term it’s not going to help them keep weight off. And also in the long term, it’s not going to make them healthier. So I think that’s part of it as well, is that perhaps people are confusing whatever their short-term goals are with the long-term objective I think that we should all have, which is to be healthy and to stay healthy.

Jonathan: Certainly, I can join the team of just be healthy and stay healthy, and understand that there may be a bit of nuance there, and speaking of nuance, you cover some wonderful points of nuance in your book. Folks, this book is just awesome. It’s called Coffee is — how do you actually say the title, Robert? Because it’s got…

Robert: Coffee is Good for You, but I chose that title. I have the title Coffee is Good for You, but I’m having the title of the word Bad is crossed out and Good is written in, and I chose that title because coffee, to me, was perhaps the ultimate example of flip-flops. We heard for years that coffee was bad for you. People were told it caused increased risk of cancer and perhaps caused heart disease, and then later on we heard studies maybe it wasn’t bad, and then most recently we’ve heard studies that it’s good for you. I think most people drink coffee. Ironically, I’m not among them. I just don’t like the taste. So you can say that I’m not biased when I say that coffee — there’s evidence suggesting coffee is beneficial. But nevertheless, I chose that as a title because I think it sums up our confusion. We heard for a long time coffee is bad for us; now, perhaps it’s good for us, and we don’t know. We’re not sure, and we’re confused because of this conflicting information. So that’s the title, and I took that as a title and I covered a number of other issues as well.

Jonathan: There are really a number of other issues in the book here, folks. We can’t get through all of them today, but I do want to cover some. One of the things I noticed actually, Robert, before we get into some specific examples, is both with coffee and you also covered chocolate, two things that I am both a fan of. This is a good concrete example of conflating variables. For example, coffee, in the absence of caffeine, it — let me phrase it differently. If coffee is just thought of as a delivery mechanism for caffeine, people will often say okay. Well, is caffeine good or bad for you? But if what we’re saying is, is coffee all up good for you, we need to understand maybe if it’s bad for you, if it is, is it because of the caffeine. Well if so, what if we drink decaf coffee? Same thing with chocolate. If we well, chocolate is good for you, which certainly you’ve cover in your book. Well, is it that chocolate is good for you? Or is it that the main ingredient in chocolate is good for you?

Robert: Exactly, so people take that and go out and eat a bunch of Snickers bars thinking that that’s going to be beneficial, they’re going to be, I think, disappointed, and so, you’re exactly right. That’s the perfect example. In the case of chocolate, we’re talking about dark chocolate and the cocoa in the chocolate, which is what’s beneficial. Start adding sugar and start adding caramel and lots of other ingredients as we get from candy bars, and it’s a different story. Likewise, with coffee, you start adding cream and sugar and getting drinks with lots of calories and stuff added at Starbucks, they may taste great but it’s not the same thing as drinking coffee and the kind of coffee that has been subjected to research.

Jonathan: Robert, we might be hitting on a general principle here that I think could empower the listeners and that’s to draw two little circles maybe, and think if someone is saying X is good for you, are they saying X is good for you because X is actually good for you or because there’s something within X. Draw a little circle within the circle labeled X and that component, that thing within X is good for you but that doesn’t make all of X good for you. I think a good example of this that you cover in your book are these “natural sugar substitutes” such as honey. Where people will say oh, well it’s natural or honey does have some more vitamins and minerals in it than sugar, so therefore, honey is good for you. Wait a second. It seems we might be jumping off the cliff a little bit there.

Robert: Right. Certainly, there’s no evidence that honey is more healthful than table sugar or other forms of sugar, and I think that’s a good point. Your question, though, regarding different constituents of food is a very important point. Because I think what often happens, however, in my view, is that it’s sort of reductionism. We try to isolate. If a food is good for us, you’re right, it’s likely there’s something in that food that’s good for us. The problem though, is that then, what happens is we try to take that component out of the food and put into a pill for example. Antioxidants being the perfect example. Right?

We hear all the time that antioxidants are good for us. We know this from studies of people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables, because people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to be healthier, tend to have lower rates of heart disease, for example. So we say, okay, there’s something in the vegetables and the fruits that are good for us, it’s the antioxidants, so let’s take those antioxidants and put them in a pill and give them to people. Well, what happens? You do that and people, in fact, don’t get any healthier. In fact, some of the studies on beta carotene, for example, have found that taking those antioxidants in pill form can be harmful. And so I think the lesson there is that there is often a complex interaction of different constituents in foods which are in many cases, beyond our capacity, at least so far, to fully understand and to tease out what in those foods or in those substances exactly is responsible for the benefits. It’s likely a combination of things. And then when we try to extract those substances and eat them in a different way, divorced from the food itself, we often find that it does not have the benefits that we thought. And I think this is one of the challenges of nutrition science, is trying to get beyond this what I call sort of reductionism, where we try to zero in on an individual constituent in a food, pull that out, and try to deliver that in a different way. Because time after time that effort has failed in studies to show that it actually has a beneficial outcome.

Jonathan: I certainly salute and agree with that point, Robert. Listeners, just as a take home message here is I would encourage you if someone says a whole food — and I will liberally apply the word whole food here in the sense that like let’s consider chocolate a whole food. Well, if they say it’s good for you, look at the whole food. Meaning, if it’s the cocoa in it that’s good for you, well then, chocolate, the whole food, is not necessarily good for you, and that doesn’t mean extract the things that are good for you and take them in pill form. It means, and Robert, tell me what you think about this, analyze the whole food. For example, is kale good for you? Yeah. It’s pretty hard to find anything about the whole food kale that is bad for you. So as a whole food, it’s good, but don’t just take a reductionist look. Look at the whole food as a whole component, and maybe use that to influence your decisions.

Robert: I can’t agree more and I think — one example we see this and so important is that we see with the way that foods are marketed, packaged foods are marketed. There’ll be labels splashed on the front that say high in vitamins, or high in fiber, or low in fats, something like that. And we say oh, this food must be good for us because it’s got some characteristic which is advertised on the front of the box. But as you say, it’s so important to look at the food as a whole because you can find, maybe low in fat but it may be really high in sugar also, and low in fiber, and full of other ingredients that aren’t good for us.

I think this is a way that food marketers often deceive us by emphasizing one aspect of the food that is beneficial, making us think that’s a healthful food, and we fail to look at the food as a whole, as you say, to really understand the quality of the food as a whole. This is something I often emphasize when I talk to groups is not to be misled by the claims and the things — the words that are splashed across boxes of food.

Jonathan: Certainly, that seems to be a thing that even if we applied globally to our lives, even I’m thinking in terms of relationships, for example. If you met a person and you knew that that person committed many, many crimes in their life, but they also gave to charity. The fact that they gave to charity does not negate the fact that they committed these crimes, and it seems like a lot of these edible products are committing nutritional crimes. These sugar-sweetened cereals are nutritional crimes. The amount of added sweeteners in them is a crime, and the fact that they have some charity, aka they dissolve a vitamin pill into the cereal, does not make it a good food. What do you think?

Robert: I could not agree more. I absolutely agree, and I have to say that it doesn’t apply just to the cereal aisle, although there are plenty of culprits in the cereal aisle. If you look in the so-called natural section or the health food section in many grocery store, you’ll find foods labeled as natural foods or health foods, which in fact are guilty of the same things. Foods for example, and one example I often use is the organic label. Organic label is used on a number of processed, packaged foods and these foods have a health halo over them because they’re labeled organic. The organic label is slapped on them. But in fact, the foods may be full of sugar, they may be full of salt, they may have other ingredients that we should avoid. But people perceive these foods as being more helpful because they have an organic label on them. So we have to be careful about that as well, even among foods that are marketed as health foods.

Jonathan: Well, speaking of foods that are marketed as health foods, we also have a bunch of foods that have been marketed as death foods, and it seems you have done quite a bit of research on those as well. The two most noteworthy of which would be eggs and red meat. What are we to think about these two foods?

Robert: Well, the eggs are a great example because we people have been told for years, don’t eat eggs, eggs are terrible, eggs raise your cholesterol. If you are concerned about a heart disease at all, don’t touch eggs. Study after study after study, these long-term, cohort studies I mentioned that record what people eat and followed them to see if they get heart disease and other conditions, have failed to show that people who eat eggs on a regular basis are at higher risk of a heart disease. The reason scientists think is one reason is that eggs do not have a negative effect on cholesterol levels. Now, people may find that surprising because eggs certainly are relatively high in cholesterol, but one of the mistaken ideas that many people have, in part because of the media, is that eating foods high in cholesterol raises your blood cholesterol level. In fact, it’s generally saturated fats, trans fats that have the most negative effect on cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol levels, not foods that are high in cholesterol.

Now, there are some exceptions. There are certain people, relatively a small percentage of people, that are so-called hyper responders, and that they may have their cholesterol go up when they eat high cholesterol foods. But for the vast majority of us, that’s not a concern. I think that’s a great example of the people have been told not to eat eggs, and in fact, eggs can be, I think, a very helpful food. Certainly, there are a better alternative than eating a sugary donut, eating a sugary cereal or a donut or something like that. There’s no question because they’re relatively high in protein and certainly more filling, likely, than eating a donut for breakfast. So I think that this is an example where I think the previous advice we had to eat the carbs and skip the eggs was misguided.

Jonathan: Robert, you mentioned in there that eggs are a relatively good source of protein. Might you dig in to why you said relatively?

Robert: Well, I think that it depends, certainly, on whether you eat the white as well as the yolk. The yolk actually has more protein than the white does. So I think it also depends on what you’re comparing it to. I think that it all depends on kind of, when I say relatively, it’s a matter of comparison whether foods you’d be eating instead of eggs. But I think generally, eggs are a good source of protein. I think that’s a reasonable statement.

Jonathan: Oh, I appreciate that nuance there, Robert, because so often I think this is another. This “relative” is just in the spirit of us talking about good ways to wade through the misinformation out there. That statement relative is very important because — forget about eggs for a second, which are I think actually only 33 percent of their calories come from protein, which indicates there must be actually more “pure” sources of protein. Not that they’re better, just that if your goal is to eat protein, there are more concentrated sources in the world. We hear similar things around like beans, for example. Beans are a good source of protein. We’re like well, relative to what? Relative to white sugar? Yes, but if you get 10 percent of your calories from protein, how is that a good source of protein?

Robert: Right, and I think this comes down to what you were describing earlier. If people choose to eat a vegetarian diet, then, relative — if you’re not going to include meat and any kind of chicken or meat in your diet, then something like beans or eggs are probably going to be an important addition to have to your diet just to include more protein. I think the best sources are often, in my view based on my view of the research, is lean meats to include in the diet as sources of protein. So really it gets down to what is your approach to eating? What works best for you? If you want to be a vegetarian, great. I don’t say in my book that that’s a bad idea, but as you say, you need to be a vegetarian who focuses on eating in a healthful way. But whether something is a good source of protein or a source of a lot of protein in your diet really depends on what else is in your diet.

Jonathan: I love it, and just to close this good source of X logic, that has even been taken one step further, and a perfect example of this is not only saying that something is a good source of X, but in your book you talk about milk. Milk has been presented as, in some ways, the only source of the calcium needed to build strong bones, so not only it is presented to us as a good source, but we are led to believe that if we do not drink milk, we will turn into jellyfish. Is this true?

Robert: It is not true. I think the milk industry has been brilliant at convincing us from the time we’re small children that we all need milk for strong bones. Everybody needs to drink milk, and if you don’t drink milk, you are depriving your body of the calcium you need to have strong bones. In fact, if you look at the evidence as I’ve done, and many people find this surprising, there is no evidence that drinking milk reduces the risk of bone fractures. After all, that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do in getting more calcium. It’s to avoid brittle, broken bones that people get osteoporosis as they get older. And, in fact, what the studies have shown, is that people who drink more milk do not have fewer broken bones as they get older, brittle bones and bone fractures. And in some cases, they even have more. So that’s shocking given all that we’ve heard through the years.

Now, there’s no question that drinking milk and eating dairy products can increase bone density. It is a source of calcium. But as you say, it’s far more complicated. Our bone health is far more complicated than the amount of milk we drink or the amount of calcium we get. It has to do with lots of other factors. It has to do with exercise. It has to do with vitamin D. It has to do with the genetics. It has to do with the number of other factors, and it’s far more complicated than just drink milk and have strong bones. And yet, that’s the message we often get. The dairy industries have been very effective in telling us you got to drink milk. My view is that if you like to drink milk, if it’s something that you feel is something you enjoy drinking, there’s some concerns and we can talk about that, that are some small red flags that people need to know about in terms of drinking a lot of milk. I don’t think, in my view, there’s strong evidence that people need to avoid milk altogether if they like to drink it. On the other hand, I think there’s no compelling evidence that people have to include milk or have to include dairy in their diets if they’re not inclined to do so. There are other ways to make sure that you could have strong bones. In fact, if you look at countries, Asian countries where they consume very little dairy, they actually have lower rates of osteoporosis, lower rates of brittle bones than we do in the West where we tend to drink and consume a lot of dairy. So I think that’s an important point to remember.

Jonathan: Robert, it is certainly an important point and you make a wealth of them in your book, Coffee is Good for You, and we absolutely have to have you back on the show, because there’s so much to cover here. And I wanted to share with the readers just a quick excerpt from your book which made me smile and rings of much truth. Folks, here it is. “If they ever produce more School House Rock videos, maybe there could be one on critical thinking. I even have the lyrics.” I am not going to sing this but here it is. “Experts are people too. They have biases like me and you. Before you follow them over the hills, find out who pays their bills.” Well said, Robert. Well said, sir.

Robert: Thank you.

Jonathan: Well, Robert, thank you.

Robert: My job is school house rock writer.

Jonathan: Absolutely, I love it. Well folks, our guest today is Robert J. Davis. He is near and dear to my heart because he is just out there on a mission to cut through the clutter using science which you know we love over here at the Smarter Science of Slim. You can learn a bunch more about him and access a ridiculous amount of free health video content at his website Everwell.com. And you absolutely must, must, must go to Amazon or your local bookstore, pick up a copy of his delightful and very easy to read book Coffee is Good for You. Robert J. Davis, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Robert: My pleasure. Thank you, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Folks, I hope you enjoyed today’s show as much as I did and please remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Talk with you soon.

This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Robert Davis. In his own words:

The Healthy Skeptic: Cutting through the Hype about Your Health

“Robert J. Davis has more than 20 years’ experience in health media. Prior to establishing Everwell, he launched and ran Newsweek Productions’ health unit, which produced the highly acclaimed PBS series HealthWeek, and also served as executive editor for Time Life Medical. In addition, he has been a producer for CNN medical news, a reporter for Medical News Network, and a contributing health columnist for both The Wall Street Journal and WebMD. He is the author of two consumer health books,The Healthy Skepticand Coffee Is Good For You, and an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. A graduate of Princeton University, he also holds a master’s degree in public health from Emory and a PhD in health policy from Brandeis University, where he was a Pew Foundation Fellow.”