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(not) monkey business

Meet Matthias.  He's a 28 year old monkey (old for a monkey of his kind).  Like many old men, he's sluggish, irritable, and slow to respond. 

His buddy Rudy, however, is a different story altogether:

Rudy is the picture of monkey vitality, although he is slightly older. Thin and feisty, Rudy stops grooming his smooth coat just long enough to pirouette toward a proffered piece of fruit.  (which by the way, makes him very similar to my friend Dhrumil, especially when it comes to pirouettes and obsessive grooming - see picture).


The difference between monkey 1 and monkey 2?  Quantity of food.   Rudy eats 30% less than Matthias.  Tell that to your momma the next time she makes you finish everything on your plate.  The case for eating less seems to be building:

This approach, called calorie restriction, involves eating about 30 percent fewer calories than normal while still getting adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Aside from direct genetic manipulation, calorie restriction is the only strategy known to extend life consistently in a variety of animal species.

Read the full article (NY Times - registration required)