These findings (not pertaining solely to me, for the record) come from new research out of the University of Innsbruck in Austria. In two studies, Americans were asked to fill out questionnaires about taste preferences and personality traits related to “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism, (and) trait aggression.” It’s worth noting that both Hitler and Christoph Waltz come from Austria, indicating that they know crazy when they see it.
Long story short, people who liked bitter foods tended towards these somewhat negative inclinations, especially everyday sadism. (As opposed to weekend and major holiday sadism.)
At first I wrote this silly study off. I happen to love black coffee, but it was a deliberate shift and it took me a year to ween myself from sugar and milk. As Huffington Post pointed out, tastes change over a lifetime, but serial killers don’t generally lapse in and out of sanity depending on access to nondairy creamer.
Also, I don’t really fit the sadist mold. Masochism? Maybe. Narcissism? Absolutely. (I’m writing on the website www.denisfaye.com with my face plastered all over it, so case rested.) But then I noticed that other foods the study considered bitter include beer, radishes, tonic water, and celery–all longstanding personal faves. So maybe I am psycho. Either way, you probably don’t want to ask me to babysit your boxful of kittens until I get this sorted out.
That said, according to this whateveresque new Italian study, I’m probably going to die of a heart attack before I get a chance to throw a bag stuffed with your feline friends in the river anyway. The Hypertension and Ambulatory Recording Venetia Study looked at 1,200 people with stage 1 hypertension over 12.5 years and discovered that if they drank three or more espressos daily (Italy, remember?), they had a 50% increased chance of a “cardiovascular event.”
Of course, this study is limited considering it only looked at Italians who already had heart issues. So if you fall into that demographic, maybe it’s time to kick back on the cappuccinos. Otherwise, you can focus on the massive amount of slightly more genealogically-varied research indicating coffee consumption does not, in fact, negatively impact your cardiovascular system–and may actually benefit it.
Or at least that’s the story I’m sticking with. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to brew myself a fourth Americano–then go find light ants on fire with a magnifying glass or something.