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May 19, 2006


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In the words of the guy who Elzar parodies in Futurama: BAM!

Bah! The reason the average lifespan was so low, was because of childhood disease and injury. If you managed to survive to adulthood at all, you had a decent chance to make it to your 50s or 60s.

My sister is a bit of a woo. She once told me that, due to all the food additives, the "shelf life" of the average buried human corpse had extended by yea many percent.

I couldn't see how this translated into reduced lifespan!

The simple fact is that life expectancy has been steadily increasing in the Western world for the past century. Even when I was a kid, 40 years ago, it was perhaps 10 years lower than now.

However, even 40 years ago we had clean water and modern(ish) medicine. The vast rise in additive-laden food has been since then. And yet life expectancy just keeps on rising anyway, despite record levels of couch-potato-ism, obesity and heart disease. Of course there are desperately unfit, overweight people who will die young ecause all they ever eat is fatty fast food, but that's their choice, not the fault of the fast food itself.

I think it's disingenuous and unverifiable to say,. "Yes, but we'd live even _longer_ if we didn't eat all this chemical junk". The most parsimonious explanation to put on this is that all the chemical additives in our food and drink don't cause any significant reduction in lifespan.

Of course, if you want to live on 20 Big Macs a day, you can, but then you can drink 20 bottles of pure, organic vodka a day, too, if you want.

Nonetheless, I don't mind the occasional fast-food burger, or the odd glass of vodka. I haven't been to a doctor for nearly fifteen years now.

Sorry if I'm ranting and babbling a bit. Must be that KFC I ate last week...

This reminds me of that Center for... uh... I forget the real name of the institute, let's just call them the Center for Pointless Health Scares. They put out a report calling salt a silent killer, responsible for innumerable deaths, etc etc, and cited the Yanomami, rainforest people who eat no salt and have low blood pressure and no obesity. Somehow the report inexplicably failed to mention the part where life expectancy among the Yanomami is less than 40.

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