MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Corby K. Martin PhD
Ingestive Behavior Laboratory
Director for Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology
Pennington Biomedical Research Lab
Baton Rouge, LA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Martin: We know that calorie restriction extends the lifespan of many species and in humans calorie restriction or dieting might extend our healthspan, which is the length of time that we are free of disease. It is possible that more healthy weight or mildly overweight people might calorie restrict to improve their health, and one concern is the possible negative effects of calorie restriction on the quality of life of these individuals.
This study tested if 2 years of calorie restriction affected a number of quality of life measures compared to a group that did not calorie restrict and ate their usual diet and did not lose weight. People who enrolled in the study were normal weight to mildly overweight. The study found that calorie restriction improved mood, reduced tension and improved general health and sexual drive and relationship (a measure of sexual function) over two years. Further, the more weight that people lost, the greater their improvement in quality of life.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Martin: An important conclusion from this study is that normal weight and mildly overweight people can experience improved quality of life over two years as a result of dieting and losing about 10 percent of their body weight. This is important because we know that persons with obesity experience these benefits as a result of weight loss, and this study extends these findings to people who are leaner.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Martin: One area of interest is to identify biological changes that are associated with improved quality of life when people diet. This could help us understand how and why we feel better when we diet.
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