Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates the top 15 killers in the United States. The latest list, published this year, is as follows:

1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. COPD (such as emphysema)
4. Stroke
5. Accidents
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes
8. Kidney failure
9. Respiratory infections
10. Suicide
11. Blood infections
12. Liver failure
13. High blood pressure
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Swallowing problems

In my latest annual presentation—in which I try to distill the hundreds of daily videos I post to NutritionFacts.org—I run through the CDC list to explore the role diet can play in preventing, treating, and even reversing the top killer diseases in the United States (see video above).

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: color line/Flickr

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ay m.
g d c.3 years ago


Sonja N.
Sonja N.3 years ago

Lynda - Nomatter if M.Greger is trying to get people to to go on a Vegan diet and nomatter the reason (and how do you know what his motives are btw ?) it IS a fact that meat, dairy (and eggs for that matter) cause various diseases in humans. Factory farming, is causing the animals tremendous suffering and they are filled with antibiotics, growth hormones and chemicals, which are proven to cause cancer, and other diseases in humans. A Vegan diet is nr one if you wish to keep your body strong and healthy .. I am a 56 year old happy and healthy proof of that. I became, first Vegetarian and now Vegan, because of the way animals are treated in modern factory farms, but I am also very happy because of the health 'side effects' caused by a Vegan ..

Stephanie Shimota

I am sooo happy I watched this video! At first I saw that it was fifty five minutes long and thought I'd just watch for maybe ten minutes. Dr. Greger is such an engaging speaker, though, and the information was so informative that I ended up watching the entire video! I wish I could rate this, I'd give it a thousand stars!!

P.S. Does anyone happen to know where Dr. Gerger was speaking when this video was recorded?

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

Well said, Lynda. I'm sure there are a few radical vegans who just haven't discovered this discussion YET and shortly will come in and say that the list missed "eating meat" or that the consumpion of meat causes all of those things on the list. I'd never bring that up,of course, because then I'd be accused of being "anti-vegan".

Amanda M.
Amanda M.3 years ago

Gianna M, you forgot another cause of death-plain stupidity! I'm a volunteer firefighter/EMT, and if I had a dollar for every fire, accident, rescue, or other call that resulted from some DUMBASS doing something that defies common sense, I'd be a rich woman today. Going out on the river without a life jacket when you KNOW you can't swim, drag racing, drunk driving, bar fighting, smoking in bed, taking drugs or trying to get high off of household items, OTC pharmaceuticals, etc. firing up a generator inside your home when the power's out, not cleaning your chimney, falling asleep at the wheel when you should've just pulled over to take a nap (or not gone out in the first place), drinking games-the list goes on.

If innocent people weren't also killed as a result of this sort of thing, I'd simply call it social Darwinism in action, since it helps thin the herd. Sadly, more often than not the idiot skates and the innocents are the casualties.

Gianna Macias
Gianna Macias3 years ago

In short, the leading cause of death is LAZINESS, overindulgence, in food, in not moving. If people started really taking responsability for themselves and stop blaming everyone else, parents, the government, food companies, advertising, things would change dramatically.

John B.
John B.3 years ago

Thanks for posting the video.

Dale Overall

The carrot is innocent unless laden with pesticides and is genetically modified.

So many things in modern society contribute to death but then as we are mortal beings as soon as we are born we begin the process of inching towards death.

Just watched The Nature Of Things on CBC on science researching how chemicals/toxins in society may be altering our endocrine system contributing to obesity. Quite fascinating and insightful.


Leading a balanced lifestyle helps to prevent many problems as we face many threats to our health. Eating organic be it veggies/meat is essential. Meat is healthy if organic with a proper serving size. Factory farm is toxic, organic is natural and safe!

The more chemicals we ingest be it antibiotics, hormones, pesticides in our foods, BPA in cans, plastics, teflon cookware releasing toxins that can kill a parakeet when heated to cook your foods, the more dangers we face.


Lin Moy
Lin M3 years ago

Thanks, even if long...

Dale Overall

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