The Atlantic

What Billionaires’ Fasting Diets Mean for the Rest of Us

Silicon Valley’s food-centric productivity hacks can be dangerous even for people who don’t practice them.
Source: George / Getty

Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, doesn’t eat for 22 hours of the day, and sometimes not at all. Over the weekend he tweeted that he’d been “playing with fasting for some time,” regularly eating all of his daily calories at dinner and occasionally going water-only for days on end. In many cases, severe and arbitrary food restriction might be called an eating disorder. And while researchers are hopeful that some types of fasts may be beneficial to people’s health, plenty of tech plutocrats have embraced extreme forms of the practice as a productivity hack.

Dorsey’s diet on the website he runs, but Silicon Valley has an obsession with food that goes far beyond the endorsement of questionable personal-health choices. Intermittent fasting is a type of biohacking, a term that includes productivity-honing behaviors popular among Silicon Valley power players for their supposed ability to focus a person’s energy to work longer and more efficiently. To enhance themselves personally, tech leaders have adopted everything from to .

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