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Weight Loss and Longevity

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The Okinawan population in Japan represent some of the longest lived people in the world.   A new study by the Pacific Health Research Institute in Hawaii underscores the relationship between caloric intake, total body fat and longevity.

The idea of caloric restriction as a means to longevity is not new. What is new is some real world data that for the first time seems to support the notion.

The study established a pattern of eating in Okinawa’s seems to coincide with longer life. The pattern involved being lean through childhood, not overweight, general low caloric intake, little weight gain with middle age, low life time Body Mass Index and high plasma DHEA.

The study alludes that there is clearly a relationship between life span, weight gain and caloric intake.

Before you start starving yourself, be aware that the study uses archived population data to extrapolate values for caloric intake. What you have to weigh along with this study are genetic differences that may not be accounted for and the source data not being laboratory in nature.

Still, the study does lend credence to the basic notion that those who eat and weigh less live longer

Rule of Thumb: Losing weight and moderate calorie intake may help you live longer.

Caloric restriction, the traditional Okinawan diet, and healthy aging: the diet of the world's longest-lived people and its potential impact on morbidity and life span.

Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Todoriki H, Fujiyoshi A, Yano K, He Q, Curb JD, Suzuki M.