Scottish scientists have found that binge eating and crash dieting may significantly reduce life expectancy.
Researchers from Glasgow University observed that fish given a "binge then diet" food regime had a reduced lifespan of up to 25%.
Their study compared the growth rate, success of reproduction and lifespan of stickleback fish.
They believe the findings could have implications for teenagers and children who follow extreme patterns of dieting. This is because they are still growing.
The study was conducted by researchers in the University of Glasgow's faculty of biomedical and life sciences. The findings are published in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Professor Neil Metcalfe said: "The fish on the fluctuating diet put just as much effort into breeding - the males became brightly coloured as usual and the females produced the normal number of eggs.
"However, on average their lifespan was three-quarters that of animals eating a constant amount every day."
The research found that the difference in lifespan was not a consequence of more rapid ageing but an increase in the risk of sudden death.
Source - BBC