Brings new meaning to the term "cup size."
I'd feel embarrassed by my occasional posts on the general subject of boobs but, if anything, I am not as interested as some others seem to be. Research has been conducted, for example, with the intent of producing the ideal boob job. Nope, not making that up. On a somewhat less bewildering note, research has also been conducted into the evolution of the breast that points to its origins in the immune system. Pretty neat stuff, actually.
Well, research on breasts hasn't ended and so my attention to them remains strong. Particularly, I recently ran across an article discussing research linking breast size to coffee consumption. Seriously:
Scientists have discovered that drinking just three cups of coffee a day can make women's breasts shrink.
Nearly 300 women were surveyed about their bust measurements and how many cups of coffee they drank in an average day.
According to researchers, three cups a day was enough to start making breasts shrink, with the effects increasing for every cup drunk.
Now, the quantoids out there are noting, as I did, that this research is apparently cross-sectional, meaning that it can't determine causality. So, for example, it could be that increased coffee consumption leads to decreased breast size, it could be that women with smaller breasts just like coffee more, or it could be that some third variable is controlling both breast size and coffee consumption. And in perfect honesty, I don't know which of these options I find less bizarre than the others. And all that assumes this this isn't just a giant load of crap in the first place.
More interesting, however, is what appears buried late in this admittedly short the article:
It's not all bad news for women however as the researchers also found that regular hits of caffeine can help to cut the risk of developing breast cancer.
Scientists said that the effect of coffee is related to its impact on estrogens - the female sex hormones.
Some substances in coffee can change a woman's metabolism so she acquires a better configuration of various estrogens, therefore lowering the potential risk.
But women with bigger breasts that contain more mammary glands are at a higher risk, the scientists added.
And this is an addition I find interesting. You see, what we have here is a substance that is purported to have two particular effects on women. First, it may reduce the size of a body part that is considered central to sexuality in our culture. Second, it may reduce the risk that the aforementioned body part will develop a life threatening disease. Speaking personally, I would think that the latter revelation is more noteworthy, particularly given the absurd prevalence of craptacular merchandise that supposedly contributes to breast cancer research. So, it seems like the headline should read, "Drinking coffee may reduce breast cancer risk," and then somewhere in the article there should be a mention of the additional cosmetic implications. Sadly, however, when you do a google search for the name of one of the study's authors (i.e. Helena Jernstroem) you find an array of reports on the research which all essentially take the same line- coffee consumption shrinks teh boobs:
And I think this says something interesting, and probably not flattering, about our culture. Maybe the measure of a man is hard to take, but it sometimes appears that the measure of a woman is taken across her chest.
* Also I have a prurient interest in boobs.