News | Published April 10, 2012

Expert offers seminar at Mount Nittany Medical Center on health benefits of calorie restriction

A restricted-calorie diet usually goes hand in hand with malnutrition, extreme dieting, and eating disorders; however, scientific research has shown that eating fewer calories - while still consuming adequate vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients - results in longer life, better health and the prevention or delay of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity.

To explore the ways calorie restriction can affect a person's health without causing malnutrition, the presentation "Calorie Restriction and Health" will be held on April 19 in the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium (entrance D) of the Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College. Roger J. McCarter, Ph.D., professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, will present the seminar.

"The Calorie Restriction Society promotes the voluntary restriction of a person's diet by about 20-25 percent of his or her normal caloric intake, while maintaining sufficient nutrition," said Dr. McCarter. "Ninety percent of the research completed on several species, including rodents, dogs, cows and monkeys, have shown that a calorie-restricted diet greatly improves their health and extends their lifespan. Currently, research is being conducted by men and women who voluntarily practice this diet, and so far the health benefits look impressive."

The talk is part of the Family Medicine Seminar Series sponsored by Mount Nittany Medical Center in collaboration with Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Medicine.

The lecture will help participants recognize how a calorie-restricted diet works and learn more about the benefits. Dr. McCarter will also talk about the progress of this research to date and how the practice of calorie restriction may evolve in the future.

The presentation will begin with a buffet dinner at 6 pm followed by the evening's lecture at 6:30 pm. The series is designed for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical students and ancillary staff who are involved in patient care, but interested community members are also welcome to attend. The lecture without the buffet is free to the public. The program has been approved for American Medical Association (AMA) Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) Category 1 credit. The cost for healthcare providers varies depending on different factors, including the attendees' job position.

As part of the Family Medicine Seminar Series, presentations are offered monthly on a variety of health topics. To register, or for more information on this seminar or upcoming seminars, call 814.234.6738, or e-mail