HealthDay News — Calorie restriction may improve health, mood, sexual function, and stress levels even in non-obese individuals, according to research published online May 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Corby Martin, PhD, director for behavioral sciences and epidemiology with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and colleagues recruited 220 people with a body mass index between 22 and 28 kg/m². Average age was 37.9 years, and 70% were women. Almost two-thirds of the participants were asked to restrict their daily calories by 25% for 2 years, while the other third had no restrictions.

By the end of the second year, participants on the calorie-restricted diet had lost nearly 17 pounds on average, or 10.4% of their initial weight. There was no significant weight change among the participants with no restrictions. The group restricting their calories also experienced improved mood, including less depression; better quality of life; improved sleep; and enhanced sexual drive and better relationships.

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“Calorie restriction among primarily overweight and obese persons has been found to improve quality of life, sleep, and sexual function, and the results of the present study indicate that 2 years of calorie restriction is unlikely to negatively affect these factors in healthy adults; rather, calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement,” the authors conclude.


1. Martin CK, Bhapkar M, PIttas AG, et al. Effect of Carlorie Restriction on Mood, Quality of Life, Sleep, and Sexual Function in Healthy Nonobese Adults: The CALERIE 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2016; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1189.

2. Moin T. Obesity Management and Prevention: More Questions Than Answers. JAMA Intern Med. 2016; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1211.