Simple lifestyle change ‘could slash your risk of dying young by up to 15%’ | The Sun

EATING less could help you live longer, a study found.

Experts say slashing calorie intake slows the ageing process and reduces the risk of an early death.

It could even boost your health as much as quitting smoking.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York looked at age-related damage on the DNA of 145 people after telling them to go on a diet for two years.

They found people who cut calories were in better shape than a group of 75 who ate what they wanted.

Study author Professor Daniel Belsky said: “Our findings provide evidence that slowing human ageing may be possible – but calorie restriction is probably not for everyone.

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“Effect sizes were small but modest slowing of the pace of ageing can have profound effects on population health.”

People in the study were told to eat 25 per cent fewer calories than they needed each day.

The average person burns 2,000 per day if they are a woman or 2,500 for a man.

A 25 per cent reduction would cut out 500-600kcal – about equal to a Big Mac’s 493kcal.

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The participants lost around 15 per cent of their body weight over the first year of the diet – two stone for the average man.

Blood tests revealed they aged two to three per cent slower than the non-diet group during the study.

And this slashed their risk of dying young by up to 15 per cent, equal to a smoker quitting cigarettes.

Scientists say eating too much overworks the body’s cells and causes them to sustain more damage and age faster.

It also raises the risk of getting fat and suffering diabetes, cancer, strokes or heart attacks.

Two thirds of Brits are overweight and could boost their health by eating less.

The NHS already offers low-calorie diets for people with type 2 diabetes, limiting them to 900kcal per day for 12 weeks, and fasting diets are growing in popularity.

Writing in the journal Nature Aging, Prof Belsky added: “This gives us a sense of the effects we might look for in intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating.”

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