Here I was, predicting indefinite life extension the other day, and now a futurist newsletter has a more pessimistic view: we may be eating ourselves to death. Pigging-out may more that offset the gains in longevity from medical progress. True, people won’t live for millennia if they self-destruct. From Futurist Update:
The dramatic rise in obesity is the primary catalyst–obesity currently
reduces life expectancy by approximately four to nine months. The rapid
rise in obesity in U.S. children and teenagers in the past 30 years
will have life-shortening effects in the future. Researchers speculate
that it could be enough to offset any improvements in longevity from
anticipated advances in biomedical technology.
They also believe that the life-shortening effect of obesity could rise
so rapidly in the United States that it may eventually exceed the
current life-shortening effects of cancer or heart disease.
“One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does
not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think,” says Olshansky.
“The obese may be inadvertently ‘saving’ Social Security,
Well, see. I knew there was a way out of that dilemma!