In 2007, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S., at 25 percent. Cancer was the second leading cause of death, at 23 percent.
Overall, life expectancy in the U.S. is up. Between 2000 and 2007, it increased by 1.3 years for men and 1.1 years for women. The life expectancy at birth for kids born in 2007 — averaged for both sexes — is now 77.9 years.
Obesity among kids age 6 to 11 has almost doubled. It’s now up to nearly 20 percent of children. American teens are gaining weight, too: 18 percent of all adolescents age 12 to 19 are now considered obese.
Overall, the percentage of adults over the age of 20 who are considered obese is up — from 22 percent between 1988 to 1994 to 34 percent between 2007 and 2008.
Good news is, some Americans are working out. Between 1999 and 2009, almost one-fifth of all American men and women met the federal guidelines for aerobic activity and muscle strengthening, which is at least 2 hours and 30 per week.
Despite increased public smoking bans, cigarette tax hikes, and continuous studies proving cigarettes’ harmful effects on the body, the percentage of U.S. adult smokers remains largely unchanged from 2008 — at right about 20 percent. Interestingly, data shows that men are more likely to be smokers than women.
From 1997 and 2007, the death rate for adults age 25 to 44 decreased by 7 percent. Why? A decrease in cancer and HIV-related deaths.
Safe-sex campaigns are making an impact. In 2009, the number of sexually active high school students who copped to using protection — i.e. condoms — the last time they had sex was 61 percent, up from 46 percent in 1991.
The overall percentage of adults 20 and older with high cholesterol — defined as 240 mg/dL — fell from 20 percent to 15 percent.
Between 2005 and 2008, 11 percent of all adults over the age of 20 had either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. The number of adults with diabetes increased with age — from 4 percent of all adults between 20 and 44 years old, to nearly 30 percent of all adults age 65 and older.