For his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun meme, Randy at Geneamusings tried out The Death Clock.
It's an online application that computes when you are likely to die with the following variables
1)Date of Birth
3)Mode of life (optimism, pessimism, sadism, normal)
4)Body Mass Index (BMI)
5)Smoking Status (non-smoker/smoker)
There is also a calculator that computes BMI with height and weight.
Plugging in my stats, it returned the date of November 25, 2059. I would be 90 years old. I calculated my BMI if I got down to my goal weight, and entered that information. I was granted an extra year.
When I say 'goal weight', the BMI would still be on the low-end of overweight. The weight to which I would need to drop to reach what they call 'desirable' is unrealistic, though according to this calculator, could extend my life to age 98.
However, that is if all other variables remain the same. I'm not sure if I could maintain my optimistic outlook on life if I did what I needed to do to reach and maintain that 'desirable' weight. A thin, pessimistic me would only live until 2026 (57 years old). Outlook on life seems to have a greater impact on longevity than weight.
Of course, I'm not going to use this as an excuse not to strive towards my goal. However, I will keep in mind that I shouldn't sacrifice my enjoyment of life in the effort, because that is counter productive. It's a balance, and I know I can lose a good 20-30 pounds, and remain happy; perhaps even be happier for it.
Of course, there are other variables that aren't included in the computation. I've been a non-smoker all my life. Someone who smoked for 20 years, but quit, is in the non-smoker category as well. Our risks aren't the same. Genetic predisposition to diseases such as cancer also are ignored.
Avoiding alcohol consumption when driving, staying out of war zones, and taking care of dogs or cats are other things that have been (or could be) statistically proven to have a positive effect on your longevity.