We've thought a lot about how pre-agricultural paleos died, but what about us?
To make the question more specific I'll ask it this way: Let's say everyone in the United States (or pick your country) goes paleo -- eats a good diet, does the right exercise, gets lots of sleep, and so on. What will be the top five causes of death 80 years from now?
Oh, and if you say "old age," please tell me what that means, exactly. Because I don't think I know.
Eaten by mutant zombie bikers when the world ends in 2012?
Seriously, though, excellent question. I'm inclined to think that cancer due to various environmental factors might still get a lot of us; we may be able to improve our diets to something approximating what Grok ate, but we're still exposed to a lot of nasty chemical crap that he never encountered, and who knows what the longterm effects of eating the SAD for x years before going Paleo might be>
We're not going to die. Surely the singularity will have happened by then. :P
We are all going to die from the diseases of civilization as well.
Infectious diseases will probably be the leading killer, follow by CVD and cancer. Maybe we will live a bit longer on average.
With few exceptions, most people eating paleo have 20+ years of damage from SAD under their belt.
Most of us are not going to fully realize the dramatic reductions in CVD & cancer incidence that we see when comparing ourselves to HG + healthy cultures. Inferior diet, lifestyle and environment as archaea pointed out.
William Land's data has CVD incidence dropping to around 25-100 per 100,000 in populations with excellent omega-3 profiles and low processed food consumption (Mediterranean, Inuit, Elderly Japanese).
This is a dramatic reduction from the current rate of 200+ per 100,000 but nevertheless still a lot of deaths.
Car accidents will probably be a big one.
I think humans have a built in expiration date so that the old ones clear out and make way for the new ones with their new ideas. SO I think we are designed to slowly weaken as we get up there in years, even if living a healthy lifestyle. SO I think similar things will still kill us but just not until we get older on average, things like germs, failed organs, injury that we are not able to heal from (injuries that probably would not have killed a younger version of self), cancer, accidents caused by slower reflexes and attention span, etc. Plus the usual things like vehicle accidents will still be there. And there will be some illnesses that straight paleo will not cure, genetic weaknesses, things we don't yet understand well yet, etc. Or maybe it will be like planet of the apes or genetically modified plants will take over the world and kill us all! ;-) -Eva
The causes of death chart is a good place to start. Ignore the ones that are diseases of civilization.
As the immune system weakens the chances of death from all sorts of exotic things rises dramatically.
I follow a paleo approach to eating/living in the hope of not spending years as an incontinent cripple, not really to just have more time alive. I don't care what eventually kills me, as long as it does it clean.
good question. In addition to Fearsclave's response about cancer, I'd possibly add pneumonia. Ordinary pneumonia is a big killer of the elderly. A very aggressive cancer kills in months or years, pneumonia kills in a day or two. Merely flooding the PT with antibiotics is no guarantee for survival. So after reducing CVD risk and glucose related problems, preserving and strengthening the immune system might be the next top priority.