>After reading a story about the Social Security system, introduced by the Roosevelt administration and based on the 1930 average life expectancy of 58 for men and 62 for women, I worried if legislators’ doomsday message was correct.


After reading a story about the Social Security system, introduced by the Roosevelt administration and based on the 1930 average life expectancy of 58 for men and 62 for women, I worried if legislators’ doomsday message was correct.

Obviously, it was the fault of the medical profession we lived longer and are now breaking the system financially. Modern medicine had eliminated many of the diseases and conditions that used to spell death to would-be recipients. Luckily, minutes later another story reminded me we really have nothing to worry about after all.

Thanks to science and technology, our society’s on course for an early exit from the gene pool, saving potentially millions of dollars in retirement benefits.

Here are a few everyday items that will spell certain doom:

Cellular telephones

With cellphone use at an all-time high, one might think the demise would stem from people holding animated conversations while driving in heavy traffic.

While that may be true, there is another risk according to some experts — radiofrequency radiation.

Three prominent neurosurgeons recently told CNN interviewer Larry King they did not hold cellphones next to their ears.

They suggested an earpiece to keep the microwave antenna away from the brain for fear of glioma — a form of tumor some critics have associated with cellphone use.

The American Cancer Society has largely dismissed the supposed link, but I am turning off my phone, just in case.

Obesity

A medical expert recently pointed out convenience foods are at an all-time high and may lead to a drop in average life spans.

According to a 2005 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “obesity may save Social Security.”

The current reduction due to obesity of one-third to three-quarters of a year could soon increase two to five years.

Crash diets

Being overweight has been proven to cause early death, but one does not want to lose weight too rapidly either, according to experts.

Scientists from Glasgow University in Scotland compared growth rated of stickleback fish and discovered those given a “binge then diet” food regime had a reduced life span of up to 25 percent.

That means at least one school of fish will not draw from Social Security, even though the administration office often finds previously deceased residents are still collecting — and cashing — checks.

There were many other facts and figures supporting a theory politicians soon will have nothing to worry about in their quests to “fix” Social Security.

Some of them included improper exercise, sleep deprivation and several references to the correct vitamins one should ingest for enhanced life expectancy.

I would like to be around long enough to see the fruition of the theories and whether the system will be in place in 25 years.

But. obviously, the odds are against that.

Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan. He can be contacted at kenneth.knepper@thekansan.com.