During the last 20 years we have begun to lead less physically active lives and started to eat energy richer foods. These changes have led to an epidemic of being overweight, which is life shortening. Can this be controlled by calorie restriction and will it lead to prolongation of life?
There is much published evidence showing that calorie restriction (i.e. reduced energy intake) will extend the life of rats and many short-lived lower animals. This is a robust effect, confirmed repeatedly since its discovery in rats in 1935, and it is large. In the rat a 40% calorie restriction throughout life will extend both the mean and maximum life durations by 40%.