Friday, July 10, 2009
Now, apparently we can quite safely say that caloric restriction will extend health benefits to the point of extending life expectancy (note all this does not guarantee a longer life, since age-agnostic diseases can still get ya).
All you have to do is eat less cake! A 20 year study on rhesus monkeys should be quite reliably predictive for hominids, although the effects seem to decrease the larger the mammal (rodents saw up to 80% lifespan increases).
It raises quite a question though - what do we prioritise? Most people quite enjoy food, and most people would quite like to live longer. So what a great joke that our own appetites are our greatest threat. Of course, certain ascetic god-fearing outlooks have made a virtue of denying the flesh in order to preserve the quality of the soul. And if one has a 'greater purpose' than having a good time, then it would be only logical to preserve the capacity to act by denying certain base pleasures and thereby deny debilitating ill health.
But these are all compromises of the basic question, and do not touch it fundamentally. So what do we want to do? Live longer, or live fuller?
Posted by Ben Cowley at 9:33 am