All things in moderation.

It seems like a simple idea.  As long as we make sure that we don’t turn to full-on gluttony, a little bit of chocolate cake is probably alright.  But that axiom applies to healthy things as well as unhealthy things.

Take, for example, calorie restriction.  While it may seem like a good idea be healthy and thinner, according to a recently completed study rhesus monkeys that were kept on a calorie restrictive diet for most of their lives did not actually live any longer than monkeys that were fed normally.

While other studies have shown that, in mice at least, low-calorie diets lead to longer, more cancer-free lives it doesn’t seem to be the same for monkeys and, as a result, probably not for humans either.

Other studies on other animals are starting to complement this one.  A 2009 study showed that about a third of mice studied had no response to diets at all, and that those who did showed shorter life spans.

There are quite a few people who don’t want to give the study any credit, as it’s been a fairly uncontested truth for a while for aging researchers that being skinnier results in living longer.

But what the study does show is that, while it might make sense to lose a few pounds, there’s no value to starving yourself for the rest of your life.  Go ahead, have that slice of cake.

Ryan Boucher is a business student and freelance writer.  You can find more of his work at

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