Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You? Hasan Investigates | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

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Oct 21, 2019


Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You? Hasan Investigates | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix
Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You? Hasan Investigates | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix thumb Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You? Hasan Investigates | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix thumb Is Coffee Good Or Bad For You? Hasan Investigates | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix thumb


  • Ahh.
  • What’s up everyone? It’s Hasan Minhaj.
  • Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world —
  • coffee.
  • I love coffee.
  • In fact,
  • I’ve even been on other shows to talk about coffee
  • in cars with other comedians.
  • Seinfeld: “Let’s get a cup of coffee.” Minhaj: “Let’s do it!”
  • Minhaj: “Oh man, you really got it!”
  • Seinfeld: “Yeah!” Minhaj: “Okay!”
  • “In New York, this is the only city in the world
  • where you’ll see a person in African garb
  • speaking an African language,
  • a woman in Indian sari speaking Hindi.
  • And people, tourists, will go up to the lady in the sari and go,
  • “Do you know how I get to the J train?”
  • “J Train” is actually what he made me call him that entire episode,
  • and I had to go by “H bus,”
  • which is fucked up.
  • America is obsessed with coffee.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee every day.
  • Even more shocking — in 2017,
  • one in three young Americans spent more money on coffee than they invested-
  • which totally makes sense, we’re never gonna be able to retire anyways.
  • We put coffee in everything.
  • Ice Cream.
  • Cake.
  • Alcohol.
  • Cigars.
  • Westeros.
  • We’ve also figured out every possible way to make coffee.
  • Manual pour.
  • Machine pour.
  • Percolator.
  • Espresso machine.
  • Siphon pot.
  • Aeropress.
  • French press.
  • And my personal favorite —
  • getting someone to make it for me.
  • We have turned making coffee into a science.
  • But there is still something we just don’t know —
  • Just tell me.
  • It’s an eternal mystery —
  • Like, what happens inside of a black hole?
  • Or, why are all public toilet seats shaped like a horseshoe?
  • Just finish the loop!
  • Oh, it’s my favorite part of the day –
  • the re-up.
  • Ahh yeah.
  • Coffee is so confusing.
  • And all the studies seem to contradict each other.
  • No correlation between coffee drinking and any form of cancer.
  • Coffee might cause cancer.
  • Less likely to die from heart disease…
  • More likely to suffer heart disease...
  • Increases your risk of diabetes…
  • Up your risk of glaucoma…
  • Make you hallucinate…
  • Improves brain function…
  • Up to 25 cups of coffee a day had no ill effects on your arteries.
  • This does seem to contradict a study that we told you about last month.
  • ahh, coffee.
  • -then you recognize the fact— -Mine’s cold
  • “oh, it’s going to kill me.”
  • what!
  • So coffee is a lot like Hillary Clinton.
  • Depending on who you ask,
  • it’s either really good, or it straight up kills people.
  • This has been going on for decades.
  • But there is a reason why we can’t figure this out.
  • So, if I’m gonna go hard on this,
  • I need a refill.
  • “Hasan…”
  • “Hasan!”
  • “Hasan! We need to finish this video, come on.”
  • Back in 1991, when even scientists wore Dr. Martens and flannels,
  • the World Health Organization added coffee
  • to its list of things “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
  • In recent years, studies have shown roasting coffee beans
  • produces a chemical called acrylamide,
  • which was found to increase the risk of cancer
  • when given to rodents in high concentration.
  • You would think if cancer is linked to one of the ingredients in coffee,
  • it’s gotta be bad for us.
  • But it doesn’t work that way.
  • Because the word “linked” is super vague.
  • It’s like the word “involved.”
  • Right? You can be like, “I’m involved in a relationship.”
  • and you’re like, “Cool, good for you.”
  • Or,
  • “I’m involved in a murder.”
  • And you’re like, “Oh shit,
  • are you guilty?”
  • In a 2012 study, 50 common ingredients
  • were selected from random recipes in a cookbook.
  • and out of those 50 ingredients,
  • more than 70% of them were linked to a higher or lower risk of cancer.
  • To be fair, the cookbook was called The Joy of Cooking With Asbestos.
  • Those same researchers also concluded
  • that a lot of studies highlight “implausibly large effects,
  • even though evidence is weak.”
  • So the big question is: Why do so many researchers publish weak ass studies?
  • Well, I’m gonna tell you. But first,
  • I need some coffee.
  • “Hasan.
  • Hasan!
  • Your coffee’s ready.”
  • Ahhh.
  • One reason the research is all over the place
  • is experts are constantly cranking out papers to stand out —
  • no matter how valid or invalid the methodology is.
  • A recent analysis found that many scientists publish a paper every five days.
  • I mean come on, you guys, science should not be like podcasting.
  • To pump out that many papers,
  • experts can rely on something called “data dredging,”
  • which sounds like what Elizabeth Holmes calls foreplay.
  • Data dredging involves casting a wide net on your research,
  • and then creating a hypothesis that backs up whatever results
  • you happen to find.
  • It’s like you have the stats,
  • and then you create your hypothesis after the fact.
  • It’s the opposite of science.
  • I need more coffee.
  • The problem is, universities and research labs
  • incentivize data dredging because publishing papers
  • is necessary to being an academic.
  • As one NYU professor put it:
  • “You can’t get a job if you don’t have papers.”
  • And writing papers just to write them can backfire in serious ways.
  • Take Dr. Brian Wansink,
  • who looks like the generic stock photo of “man with food.”
  • Last year, Dr. Wansink had to resign from Cornell University
  • for misreporting research data.
  • Wansink’s research was so flimsy
  • that the medical journal Jama
  • had to retract six of his papers
  • for their lack of “scientific validity.”
  • All of this happened after seven other papers
  • were retracted for similar reasons.
  • Wansink even sent emails to his staff
  • telling them to look for results that would quote
  • “Go virally big time.”
  • Is that why we haven’t found the cure for gingivitis?
  • They’re like, “Nah, it won’t trend.”
  • You know there’s a problem when scientists have the same goal
  • as teenagers on TikTok.
  • Pretty soon, they’ll just be lip-syncing the study results.
  • Shoddy research is why we’re always buried in news stories
  • about things like coffee.
  • Thankfully, the research community is doing something about this.
  • Whether it’s by sharing data to increase transparency,
  • or focusing on large, randomized, controlled trials.
  • Look, we may never know if coffee is good or bad for us,
  • but I do know one thing:
  • it’s fucking delicious, and I’m never gonna stop drinking it.
  • But like many things in life, it’s all about moderation.
  • Ahh.
  • I’m 80% hazelnut.

Download subtitle


Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the country, with almost two-thirds of Americans drinking at least one cup of coffee a day. Despite its popularity, there seems to be conflicting research surrounding the drink's health benefits. As an avid coffee drinker himself, Hasan decided to investigate the age old question: is coffee good or bad for you? Hasan compared the data drawn from researchers and scientists over a number of decades to find out if the evidence overwhelmingly supports or opposes drinking coffee. The results gave Hasan a whole new perspective about data studies.

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New episodes, new topics, every Sunday - only on Netflix. Hasan Minhaj brings an incisive and nuanced perspective to global news, politics, and culture in his unique comedy series. Subscribe to the Patriot Act channel now to stay up to date with episode clips and original content from Hasan and the Patriot Act team.

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