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Chrissy Teigen's Cookbook Snafu; Should You Drink More Coffee?

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Five things to know today

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Given all of the recent actual science and pseudo-science about coffee's health benefits, some who don't drink coffee wonder if perhaps they should. Studies show both that coffee can increase mental and physical performance and mitigate depression, and that the highly caffeinated beverage can cause heartburn and anxiety. It's a drug, but it's good for us — so should we give it up or increase intake? Addressing these concerns, Dr. Rob van Dam, an adjunct associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University, told the NYT: "It's one thing to say it's safe. It's another thing to recommend it as a medical choice even though people don't like it and they'd have to make an effort to adopt it. We'd need a different level of evidence to recommend it to people." So: If you're already drinking coffee and it doesn't cause any adverse effects, you may as well keep drinking it; if you don't drink coffee there's no clear reason to take up the habit.

Meanwhile, New York State is moving ahead with its motion to require restaurants to post salt content on menus; how hundreds of people got access to Chrissy Teigen's phone number; at least one business writer takes an honest look at Starbucks' new, controversial, loyalty program; Dunkin' Donuts takes on McDonald's; and finally, is this Bernie Sanders figurine the next Happy Meal toy?

— New York State is moving forward with its mandate for restaurants to label menu items that contain over 2,300 milligrams of sodium. The National Restaurant Association lost its lawsuit against the measure, as Eater NY reported yesterday.

— Chrissy Teigen came out with a new cookbook this week and early buyers got a major bonus: her phone number.

Bummer, though:

— Pissed that Starbucks changed its rewards programA lot of people are. But the Upshot takes a look at why the company made the controversial change — and explains why consumers might just have to deal:

...Starbucks has not been the only violator of communal norms in the Starbucks customer relationship. I have it on good authority that many Starbucks customers — including at least one Upshot editor — have been gaming the existing system by splitting their transactions: for example, being rung up once for a coffee and again for a muffin, in order to receive two stars when they might otherwise get just one.

You might say, hey, Starbucks is a big company, and there's nothing in the My Starbucks Rewards terms and conditions that would seem to prohibit transaction-splitting... If customers are going to take a "hey, it's just business" approach to their relationship with Starbucks, they should expect the company to do the same — and it has.

— Dunkin' Donuts has been in the news a lot because of changes two of its biggest rivals — McDonald's and Starbucks — announced this week. Some suggest that Starbucks fans who are upset with the company's new, more expensive Rewards program will flock to Dunkin' for their coffee. Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that Dunkin' is a ready rival for McDonald's all-day breakfast... if for no other reason than the fact that Dunkin' has always served all-day breakfast.

— Finally, could this be McDonald's new Happy Meal toy? (At least it's not this guy.)