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The perks of recreational asceticism

A person who goes on a financial fast intentionally deprives himself from a position of strength, for a better future

THERE is a fad that is going on in some wealthy circles.

Every year, a businessman I know takes off to a little town in Japan and spends a week fasting.

He does not eat at all. He just takes a plum extract three times a day to prevent hunger pangs.

The aim is to live longer. The theory is that the lack of calories slows down the ageing process and allows the body to repair itself.

"I've seen enough of my friends drop suddenly," he said.

A few dozen Singaporeans, many of them wealthy and influential, are doing this, he adds.

Fasting temporarily for health reasons - while ensuring one gets adequate levels of nutrients such as vitamins and proteins - is a scientifically controversial, if otherwise, harmless...

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