Does Sugar in Coffee Pose Health Risks? Here’s What We Found

Recent headlines sparked a flurry of debate over the health implications of adding sugar to coffee and tea. Some sources claimed it posed no risks, while others warned of dire consequences. So, what’s the reality behind these conflicting assertions? Let’s unpack the findings of the Copenhagen Male Study to shed light on this contentious issue.

What Did the Research Reveal?

The Copenhagen Male Study, conducted over several decades, examined the mortality rates of middle-aged men who consumed coffee or tea with and without sugar. The results initially seemed to suggest a slightly higher mortality rate among sugar users. However, a closer look revealed that this disparity was not statistically significant—a crucial distinction in the realm of scientific inquiry.

In statistical analysis, significance indicates the likelihood that observed differences are not due to random chance. While the study’s findings hinted at a marginal discrepancy between sugar users and non-users, this variance was akin to the fluctuations of a coin toss—insufficient to draw definitive conclusions.

Moreover, the presence of confounding variables, such as smoking or exercise habits, further complicated the interpretation of results. Accounting for these factors nullified any discernible link between sugar consumption and mortality rates.

Key Takeaways

  1. Context Matters: The study underscores the importance of considering the broader context when evaluating dietary habits. While a sprinkle of sugar in coffee or tea may pose minimal risks within a balanced diet, excessive consumption of sugar-laden beverages warrants scrutiny.
  2. Individualised Approach: There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. Understanding your unique circumstances and dietary patterns is essential for crafting tailored solutions. Rather than absorbing blanket statements, reflect on how your dietary choices that align with your health goals.

When it comes to nutrition, our role extends beyond disseminating information. We are also responsible for making informed choices that align with our well-being. By fostering a nuanced understanding of dietary nuances and promoting mindful eating practices, we pave the way for sustainable lifestyle changes that promote long-term health and vitality. What are you waiting for? Let’s rewrite the story of our well-being, one mindful choice at a time, because the transformation you seek begins with the decisions you make today.


Treskes RW, Clausen J, Marott JL, Jensen GB, Holtermann A, Gyntelberg F, et al. Use of sugar in coffee and tea and long-term mortality risk in older adult Danish men: 32 years of follow-up from a prospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2023 Oct 18;18(10):e0292882.

Kaiser A, Schaefer SM, Behrendt I, Eichner G, Fasshauer M. Association of all-cause mortality with sugar intake from different sources in the prospective cohort of UK Biobank participants. Br J Nutr. 2023 Jul 28;130(2):294–303.