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Physical Inactivity and Poor Nutrition Catching up to Tobacco as Actual Cause of Death

Last updated March 19, 2020

Approved by: Lester Fahrner, MD

In 2000, the most common actual causes of death in the United States were tobacco (435,000), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000), alcohol consumption (85,000), microbial agents (e.g., influenza and pneumonia, 75,000), toxic agents (e.g., pollutants, asbestos, etc., 55,000), motor vehicle accidents (43,000), firearms (29,000), sexual behavior (20,000) and illicit use of drugs (17,000).


Physical Inactivity and Poor Nutrition Catching up to Tobacco as Actual Cause of Death

In 2000, the most common actual causes of death in the United States were tobacco (435,000), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000), alcohol consumption (85,000), microbial agents (e.g., influenza and pneumonia, 75,000), toxic agents (e.g., pollutants, asbestos, etc., 55,000), motor vehicle accidents (43,000), firearms (29,000), sexual behavior (20,000) and illicit use of drugs (17,000).

Actual causes of death are defined as lifestyle and behavioral factors such as smoking and physical inactivity that contribute to this nation’s leading killers including heart disease, cancer and stroke.

CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 19, 2020
Last updated: March 19, 2020