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Future Centurions

October 31, 2008

I mentioned the “Living to 100” symposium in a previous post.  I discovered an interesting website where you can actually describe your lifestyle, age, etc to estimate your life expectancy.

Sadly, I’m not looking at a century.  I guess I’m an unhealthy slob, because I’m looking at passing peacefully at 96.

Fortunately, there’s hope!  I can turn my life around and look forward to a few extra years of dementia (hopefully that doesn’t actually come true, or I’ll consider moving to Oregon.)  Here are things I neglect that could extend my life significantly.

  • Daily flossing.  This can add a year to life.  Who knew?  Apparently gum disease is linked to heart disease.  Correlation or causation?  I’m suspicious.
  • Eliminate fast food.  I estimate eating fast food once per week (That doesn’t count Cafe Rio, obviously.)  Apparently my Wendy’s frosty & fry habit is costing me a year of life.
  • Lotsa tests.  Apparently I should be screening myself for cancer and disease at a very early age.  I wonder what the life expectancy difference is between screening now and waiting till you’re 35 or 40.

All in all, I could make it to 101.5 if I do everything the website suggests.  I’m forced to wonder, however, if that’s 5.5 extra years in a home with a nurse helping me change, shower, and wipe every 30 minutes because of my extraordinarily small bladder.  Is the investment now worth the payoff of a few crummy years waaay down the road?  Or should I save myself the 30 seconds of flossing time, enjoy those chicken nuggets, and continue to avoid the dreaded doctor?

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