Obesity contributes to the aging process through the alteration of metabolic pathways evidenced biochemically in the relationship between caloric restriction and longevity. Humans have entered into an era of metabolism and aging entirely unprecedented in their evolution, with a diet that, for many, contains a majority of calories as sugar and yields an expected lifespan of over 80 years in industrialized nations. Deeply embedded in the complex issue of obesity are questions of behavior, causality versus correlation, and appropriate models. For example, are primates a better reference than mice for studying metabolic connections between obesity and aging? We consider those issues from the standpoint of life-history theory, especially implications of the interplay of refined sugar and socioeconomic disparities for the future of human health.