Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The joys of dying earlier

If customers have a choice of living longer or eating in your restaurants, which way are they going to lean? That all depends on whom you regard as weirder, me or my wife.

My child-bride has been positively obsessed with the outpouring of stories in the last week about CR—calorie restriction, for those of you who don’t have a cryogenics pamphlet tucked away somewhere. It’s a new way of eating—or, actually, not eating—to promote longevity. In essence, you drop your calorie intake by about a third. We’re not talking here about cutting back to a mere Wendy’s Double from the previous standard order of a Triple. Ingesting 2,000 or so calories a day puts you in the realm of indulging in a few romaine leaves for Thanksgiving.

Yet the payback can be considerable. As recent stories in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times pointed out, CR is believed by a growing body of scientists (and, presumably, certified nut bars) to prolong life expectancy by as much as 40 years. They say adherents could easily log 110 or even 120 years, most of them Viagra-free.

There’s indeed a strong incentive there for the public to cut back its eating. My MBA degree hasn’t arrived yet, primarily because I’ve not so much as enrolled, but it seems to me that a drop in food consumption would be less than ideal for an industry that feeds people.

Which is why my wife has been stage-whispering comments about the restaurant industry taking a major fall. I hear it with each CR story that’s published. So, lately, only a Cubs fan would know more doom.

But I parry her assertions with a highly personal argument: I’d rather be gone next week than give up pizza. Or pumpkin pie. Or a chef’s salad. Or tofu, even.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. Why live if you can’t truly eat? I equate CR with living in a bubble. She insists it’s a bubble that restaurant patrons will readily enter as they learn more about the life-prolonging benefits of eating like a fashion model.

But decide for yourself. You can find the New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/health/nutrition/31agin.html?_r=1&oref=slogin. And if you want to tell my wife she's wrong, feel free. Just know that CR would be kind of academic at that point.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wife is absolutly correct. It is proven in several of the longest living societies in the world that a low calorie, high nutrient diet is the key to living a longer healthier life. If you depend so much on food for your happiness, then you might die tomorrow, as you wish, b/c of that pumpkin pie. I'm not saying never eat pizza or pie, just not every day. Maybe as a treat once a month, but we as American's are a joke b/c of our obesity and diabeties problem. DIabetes is a diseaser that is 100% preventable - yet so many of our lazy fat americans have this disease when all they have to do is NOT reach for that donut. I could go on and on, however, I just wanted to say that your wife is 100% right.

November 2, 2006 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your wife is absolutly correct. It is proven in several of the longest living societies in the world that a low calorie, high nutrient diet is the key to living a longer healthier life. If you depend so much on food for your happiness, then you might die tomorrow, as you wish, b/c of that pumpkin pie. I'm not saying never eat pizza or pie, just not every day. Maybe as a treat once a month, but we as American's are a joke b/c of our obesity and diabeties problem. DIabetes is a diseaser that is 100% preventable - yet so many of our lazy fat americans have this disease when all they have to do is NOT reach for that donut. I could go on and on, however, I just wanted to say that your wife is 100% right.

November 2, 2006 at 11:52 AM  

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