1036 GMT December 12, 2019
As Britain faces an obesity crisis — with huge consequences for the NHS — scientists have discovered cutting down on the amount we eat not only makes us healthier but also prolongs our likely lifespan, express.co.uk wrote.
Calories are the amount of energy in food or drink but when people eat too much, the body stores the excess as body fat which can lead to piling on the pounds.
In the past, scientists have been divided on the impact of dieting on aging.
But researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have now found there are significant benefits in survival and reductions in cancer, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance — which leads to diabetes.
Scientists tried to determine the connection between calorie intake and life expectancy.
Associate Professor of Medicine Rozalyn Anderson at UW-Madison said that a number of other factors were also important for increased lifespan when calories were lowered.
But overall, calorie reduction was beneficial for life expectancy — especially in older people.
Anderson said, “The upshot of the report was that caloric restriction does indeed seem to be a means to affect aging.
“However, for primates, age and diet must all be factored in to realize the full benefits of lower caloric intake.”
While the study did not determine by how much life expectancy could be extended, it adds to the growing evidence of the health hazards of overeating.
Latest figures show that some 67 percent of men and 57 percent of women in the UK are now either overweight or obese. But the problem is also becoming acute in children.
In Britain, some 19.1 percent of children aged 10-11 are now obese and a further 14.2 percent are overweight.
Of children aged four to five, 9.1 percent are obese and 12.8 percent are overweight. A third of 10- to 11-year-olds and over a fifth of children aged four to five are too heavy.
The new study concluded that in particular, eating less was beneficial in older adults rather than the young. In addition, people should try to eat a natural diet rather than processed ‘junk’ foods with high sugar levels.
It also found women are less vulnerable to adverse effects of being fat than men.
There were key gender differences in the relationship between diet, adiposity (fat), and insulin sensitivity, where females seem to be less vulnerable to adverse effects of adiposity than males.