Published in El Pais, April 27th 2019.
Most people probably do not think in the way they are going to die. In a way is better to live much calmer if you do not think about the inevitable. Nevertheless, if you consider it again, for a big part you are in control of what and when you die. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Risks Report about 60% of the premature causes of death are due to events that you control. In the paragraphs below you can find the most critical causes of premature death.
Eating wrong and too many calories get you overweight, heart diseases, diabetes, strokes etc. By standards we only need 2000/2500 kilocalories per day for men/women. However, it is easy to get tempted and to get 50 kcal. extra with only one glass of cola or juice or get 237 kcals. extra with a small serving of French fries or chips. Beside the kcals., it is also easy to forget including fruit and veggies, so watch out because this accounts for about 28% of the causes of death.
Everybody knows that smoking ruins the lungs and causes cancer and other pulmonary diseases. 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer are due to smoking and 20% of chronic obstructive pulmonary deaths are also due to smoking. Altogether, they account for 8.7% of all premature deaths.
If you are sitting or lying while you are reading this, finish reading and start doing some exercise. About 5.5% of the people die simply because of serious inactivity. No sport, no walking, no exercise. It ever occurred to you that doing nothing could kill you?
Sex should be something a couple enjoys. Still, if you cannot control yourself and do not take any precautions, it can kill you. Not because of a heart attack after an exciting wild night, but due to sexually transmittable diseases you obtain. So, think twice before having unsafe sex and become one of 4.0% of the people who die because of it.
Too much alcohol messes up your liver and as a result can cause obesity or type 2 diabetes. If you are careless after you drink and decide to drive, you can cause an accident killing you, or worse another innocent person. 3.8% of all the deaths are due to alcohol, and an average of 16 deaths per 100.000 persons by accidents in the road in South America.
Since it is supposed that you are planning to get old and don’t want to become one of the mentioned statistics of premature death, take good care of yourself. In the end, it depends for a big part on you.