Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Eat Less Live Longer

Calorie restriction has been demonstrated to increase the lifespan of animals, as much as double for laboratory rats. In addition, the animals seemed to be more fit and the onset of age related infirmities were delayed.

Theories as to why calorie reduction works include decreasing metabolism, adipose tissue reduction, and triggering specific genes. Although calorie restriction has not been proven to work for humans, some believe that a small level (e.g. 300 to 500 calories out of the recommended 2000 -2500 per day) of voluntary reduction would have longevity and health benefits. For humans, the projected lifespan increase is a range of 3 to 7% or about 4 years.

Like saving for retirement, there are also debates on whether sacrificing the present (i.e. not eating) for an uncertain future benefit may not be worth it. However, since there are near term health benefits, such as weight loss, a small reduction seems worthwhile to me. I can easily achieve a 300 to 500 calorie reduction by just eliminating snacks. If there is a longevity benefit, that would be a bonus.

For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

This is not financial or health advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

2 comments:

Andy said...

Interesting analogy. Obesity and Financial debt are two "big" problems facing America and so this analysis is timely.

Shadox said...

well - if you are over weight caloric restriction has some benefits... it's called a diet... Otherwise, I think it is way pre-mature to assume that there is any benefit. Someone's probably doing some studies on this this.