Can Eating Less Make You Live Longer?

by Jon Henshaw

Ever since scientists began to understand the relationships between metabolism and caloric intake, many people have theorized that eating less can help you live longer. The idea is that slowing down the rate that one burns calories, will slow down one’s metabolism, and will subsequently slow down aging.

Recent research from UCLA has found that there’s some truth to this, but not as much as many might think.

Severely restricting calories over decades may add a few years to a human life span, but will not enable humans to live to 125 and beyond, as many have speculated, evolutionary biologists report.

“Our message is that suffering years of misery to remain super-skinny is not going to have a big payoff in terms of a longer life,” said UCLA evolutionary biologist John Phelan. “I once heard someone say caloric restriction may not make you live forever, but it sure would seem like it. Try to maintain a healthy body weight, but don’t deprive yourself of all pleasure. Moderation appears to be a more sensible solution.

So, as usual, moderation wins out over extremity. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to your health, it’s often best to steer near the middle of the road. Otherwise, if you go to far to the right or left, you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2005 at 3:28 am and is filed under Health, Healthy Eating. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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