I'd remark on the raging debate over whether fat is unhealthy or not, but it doesn't exist. The voices of the opposition are screaming as hard as they can, but we're drowned out by the overwhelming majority who have sucked down the bait and are denying the hooks lodged in their bleeding throats.
Instead, I want to discuss what this is REALLY about: Fear of death. We've come a long way, and we're so technologically advanced that we can prevent untimely demise in ways that were never before dreamed possible. We're healthier than ever before, having smited hunger, disease, and acute health threats (like appendicitis). We're protected by laws and safety regulations. We have fire-resistant pajamas.
So when someone raises a spectre of early demise in the form of adipose tissue, of course we want to "do something" about it. We have become accustomed to control, having a choice in our destinies--so much so, that people are very threatened by the idea of those of us who have untreatable chronic illnesses, because we shake their faith in modern medicine.
So, you're worried, right? You want to reduce your chances of dying early, and that's understandable. However, not only is the link between fat and early death almost completely fabricated by thindustry propaganda, even if it WERE a risk factor for early death (and, I need to again stress that it is not), the evidence is pretty clear that there isn't a whole hell of a lot you can do about it: Weight you lose comes back (plus some extra) within about five years, unless you're really pushing yourself, and weight loss by itself seems to raise your risk of dying early (and it's worse if you've yo-yo'd throughout your life). Junkfood Science has all the info on that subject, so I'm not going to repeat her stuff here.
So, now that we've established that your fat isn't going to kill you, and even if it did, you're kind of stuck with it, let's look at some things you CAN control that are actually known to have a direct effect on extending your lifespan. Please understand that these are NOT commandments that I'm giving you, just descriptions of actions (or inactions) that you have a choice in taking:
- Wear your seat belt. They save lives, and if you don't believe me, ask an EMT or ER doc.
- Don't smoke. Your control over this is debateable--if you don't already smoke, this is pretty easy.
- Don't do hard drugs. Marijuana is not going to kill you, but heroin and cocaine can be lethal, and fairly readily so.
- Practice good food safety handling. It's amazing how many people worry about the calories in their food, but don't worry one bit about microbes that can cause severe illness and death.
- Get treatment for depression. Depression can kill, if the sufferer becomes suicidal.
- Live in a low-crime area (your control over this is questionable, but it's easier than losing weight, haha)
- Work in a relatively safe job (again, you may not have complete control, but you have some)
- Drive defensively--and SOBER--and try to choose a safe car.
- Don't commit violent crime. The police can shoot you, or the government can execute you.
- Observe good safety practices for all activities. Don't plug stuff in while standing in a puddle of water, don't dive into shallow pools, that kind of thing.
- Get some sun and adequate nutrition.
- Have safe hobbies. I guarantee that I'm safer playing with my nonvenomous snakes than you are skydiving!
- Learn first aid, and clean & disinfect all cuts and wounds (antibiotic resistant bacteria are on the rise)
- Try to be on medical insurance, and get adequate medical care. Don't leave that lump unchecked until it's the size of your head.
MORE important than any of these things, however, is to enjoy what you have right now. You never know, hence the phrase, "Eat dessert first; life is uncertain!"