Tobacco Gets Killer Competition

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By: Daniel Trecroci

Would you believe the two leading killers in the United States are lifestyle choices? It’s true.

Smoking and obesity are the two leading causes of death, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And it looks as if obesity has just about caught up with smoking.

“Smoking remains the leading cause of mortality,” write the researchers. “However, poor diet and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death.”

The leading causes of death in 2000 were smoking, which accounted for 435,000 deaths, or 18.1 percent of total U.S. deaths. Poor diet and physical inactivity were responsible for 400,000 deaths, or 16.6 percent. This represents a 33 percent jump from 1990.

-Journal of the American Medical Association, March 10, 2004

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