When I was a kid I had a lot of mice. Some of them were pets but most of them were indicative of childhood entrepreneurial spirit.

My friend John Ludowici had pet snakes and so I figured I could breed the mice I had and sell him to him at 20c each ‘? less than they were in the pet shops. It was a pretty good earner for a while and at one point I had close to 200 mice in breeding cages.

I used to catch the train to school and carry my mice in a small schoolbag which I’d modified for the purpose. Unfortunately, one day the mice nibbled a hole in the bag and mice escaped and ran all over the carriage. My mother soon put a stop to this smelly enterprise and so I was left with around 40 or so mice.

My longevity experiment

I decided to do an experiment with them, whereby I fed different cages of mice different amounts and different types of food. One thing I remember that stood out very clearly was that the mice that had food in their cage all the time got very fat and sluggish. The mice that I fed once a day were slimmer and the ones I fed once every 2nd day were very slim and sprightly, often leaping out of the cage when I took the top off.

But the interesting thing I remember very clearly was that the fat mice died first, the mice I fed once per day died second and the cage of mice that were fed once every 2nd day lived the longest. In fact, the slim mice had close to double the life span of the fat mice.

Having discovered this as a 12 year old, you can imagine my surprise when I read in the paper the other day that some eminent scientist had concluded that people who live to be over 100 all have one thing in common ‘? they don’t eat big meals.

In fact, the key to living a long, healthy life is to eat small meals often or to eat small meals once or twice a day.

Obviously you need to choose the right types of food to eat, but remember that my mice only ever had mouse food and the ones who had a lot still died early.

What do you think?