from todays Houston Chronicle
By KAREN KAPLAN
Los Angeles Times
July 10, 2009, 7:09AM
For a country in which roughly 200 million people are overweight or obese, scientists have discouraging news: Even those who maintain a healthy weight probably should be eating less.
Evidence has been mounting that the practice of caloric restriction — essentially, going on a permanent diet — greatly reduces the risk of age-related diseases and even postpones death. It has been shown to extend the lives of yeast, worms, flies, spiders, fish, mice and rats.
Now, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and released Friday, many of the same benefits have been demonstrated in primates, the best evidence yet that caloric restriction would help people.
The findings, published in the journal Science, tracked rhesus monkeys that were on a reduced-calorie regimen for as long as 20 years. The animals’ risk of dying from cancer, heart disease and diabetes fell by more than two-thirds...