Readers of this blog have no doubt heard about the study* that showed a shockingly high percentage of people would rather be blind, lose a limb, live a shortened lifespan, and suffer other calamities--so long as they didn't have to be fat.
Now a new study may put that fatphobia to the test. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have found that nematode worms who were exposed to one of the tricyclic antidepressants lived up to 30 percent longer lifespans. Their hypothesis: the drug disturbed the balance of chemicals in the brain and created a "perceived, but not real" state of starvation that altered the creatures' natural lifespans.**
Sounds like sci fi, doesn't it? After all, humans have been chasing a longer lifespan since Ponce de Leon hunted for that fountain--and probably long before that. But wait, said the researchers, even if this effect could be shown in people, they're not going to go for it, because that class of medications causes "weight gain and increased appetite."
So someday we really might be faced with a choice between being fat and living significantly longer.
What would *you* do?
** See www.news-medical.net/?id=32859