The Most Preventable Causes of Death in the U.S.
The following graph is taken from a year 2000 study published in Jama, and is based on the fact that heart attacks and cancer kill most people. It impossible to trace the exact cause of death for any person, so these figures should be regarded with some caution. That said, the epidemiology of the researchers is as good as any, here is the graph:
Source:Mokdad AH, Marks JS. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 291
Smoking accounts for 18% of all preventable deaths, and obesity is not far behind at 15%, yet of the two smoking is the one which strikes the most fear in people's hearts. Why is this? Part of it is advertising against smoking, but part of it is also a lack of awareness as to just how dangerous obesity is.
Of course, everything is a life choice, and people have to decide what makes them happy. It would just be nice to see more people aware of just how risky obesity is when they make their choices.