Dr Michael Mosley, a presenter on BBC science show 'Horizon' has claimed that ongoing research suggested that a high metabolic rate- how much energy the body uses for normal functions- is a risk factor for earlier mortality, the Daily Mail reported.
"Communities in Japan and the US which follow strict, low-calorie diets appear to have a lifespan longer than the global average," he said.
"Ultimately, ageing is a product of a high metabolic rate, which in turn increases the number of free radicals we consume," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
"If you stress the body out by restricting calories or fasting, this seems to cause it to adapt and slow the metabolism down. It's a version of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," he said.
Mosley said he did not believe it was necessary to eat three meals a day because "what we think of as hunger is mainly habit".
In a new Horizon programme, he also suggests that intermittent fasting could offer the same benefits as calorie restriction by reducing the growth of hormone IGF-1.
While the hormone maintains and repairs tissue, high levels have been shown to contribute towards cancer and ageing.
His comments, made to the Radio Times, come after the Institute of Health Ageing at University College London suggested eating 40 per cent less could extend a person's life by 20 years, the report said.