Naturopath tells Fox viewers that coffee will make them fat
In other woo news: Fox News invited Ann de Wees Allen to tell its viewers that black coffee will make you "fatter than a pig." This segment is a textbook example of how not to do science journalism. The voice over identifies de Wees Allen as "Doctor"--without mentioning that she claims neither a medical degree, nor a doctorate. Her website says she's a doctor of naturopathy. Fox also neglects to mention that Allen appears to have a sideline selling something called "Skinny Coffee"--an alternative to that fattening old joe.
The segment gives roughly equal time to a real dietitian who explains that coffee can't cause weight gain on its own, on account of it having no calories. Besides, she says, if plain coffee were causing massive weight gain, dietitians would have noticed by now.
Obviously, if you drink cream and sugar with your coffee, or use it to wash down cookies, those calories add up the same as any others. And there's evidence that even non-caloric sweeteners can stimulate the release of insulin, which in theory could make some people hungrier and/or more likely to store extra calories as fat--but that hypothesis hasn't been proven. But if coffee is "worse than five hot fudge sundaes" as "Doctor" Allen claims, there are a suspiciously large number of skinny coffee drinkers out there.
There are equally plausible mechanisms by which coffee might contribute to weight loss. Caffeine is, after all, a stimulant. As such, it tends to increase activity and boost metabolism.
I couldn't find much evidence that coffee consumption affects body weight either way.
By putting Allen up against a real dietitian, Fox News is inviting the inference that her views should be considered on par with those of a licensed health care professional. Like quacks throughout history, naturopaths have schools that hand out credentials, but naturopathy is pseudoscience. It is irresponsible of Fox News to give this quack a platform.