Lifestyle choices by residents of the United States are a main contributor to lower life expectancy than the advanced democracies. People living in the Unied States are more likely to be obese and die of heart disease than residents of the advanced democracies.

LIFESTYLE Risks

COLOR CODING
GreenRanked first for statistic
RedRanked last for statistic
Obesity %% Alcohol Attributed Traffic DeathsPremature deaths/ 100,000 due to alcohol consumptionHeart Disease Mortality RateTraffic Fatalities/ 1,000,000Drink and Drive Rate (%)Firearm Fatalities/ 100,000
Australia30.430.014.6965.44.60.90
Canada21.6*33.614.6079.54.61.94
Denmark18.5*22.029.37502.25.71.11
France14.430.822.2138.64.83.42.42
Germany16.7*9.428.65102.43.31.01
Italy12.0*22.614.5773.75.42.50.97
Japan4.66.217.3030.42.60.01
Netherlands13.9*4.814.0638.84.20.44
Norway16.0*21.013.2371.82.10.21.52
Sweden15.3*18.518.2488.32.20.241.58
United Kingdom25.9*13.018.3783.82.611.60.17
United States33.5*31.017.76116.712.912.09

Sources

Obesity Percent: OECD

Percent obesity of the total population, self-reported. From 2021 except for Australia (2017), France, Japan (2019), Norway (2022).
Non-medical Determinants of Health > Body Weight
**countries with self-reported data are denoted with an asterisk

Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths: OECD International Transport Forum

Alcohol-Related Road Casualties in Official Crash Statistics, 2017.
Percent road traffic deaths involving alcohol, for 2010. All countries use a legal limit of 0.5 g/L except for Norway, Sweden, Japan (under 0.5 g/L) and Canada, United Kingdom, United States (0.8 g/L).

Premature deaths per 100,000 due to alcohol consumption: OECD

Annual number of premature deaths per 100,000 due to alcohol consumption above 1 drink per day for women and 1.5 drinks per day for men. Data from 2020.

Heart Disease Mortality Rates: OECD

Ischemic heart disease (coronary heart disease), deaths per 100,000 (standardized rates).
All data from 2020 except for Canada (2019), Sweden (2018), France, Italy (2017), Norway (2016).

Traffic Fatalities per 1,000,000: OECD

Road accident deaths per million inhabitants. All from 2022 except Canada, Denmark, United States (2021).

Drink and Drive Rate: European Transport Safety Council

Drink Driving: Towards Zero Tolerance, 2012. Percentage of those tested found to be above the legal BAC limit.

Fire-arm related death rate: GunPolicy.org

Annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population. All data from 2019 except for France, Norway, United Kingdom (2016), Italy (2017), Canada (2018).

Notes

“The Top Cause of Alcohol-Related Deaths Can Go Undetected for Years”

March 4, 2024.
Dana G. Smith.
New York Times. “Annual deaths caused by the disease are on the rise in the United States, having climbed 39 percent in recent years, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Death rates are highest in men and adults aged 50 to 64, though they are increasing more quickly among women and younger adults.”

“The Rise in U.S. Traffic Deaths. What’s behind America’s unique problem with vehicle crashes?”

December 11, 2023.
David Leonhardt.
New York Times. Despite vehicle crash death rates falling in other countries in the past decade, rates have risen in the U.S.. Potential reasons could include smartphone use, drugs, increase in homelessness and lack of sidewalks, bike lanes or crosswalks in some areas.

“How Japan Won Its ‘Traffic War'”

September 6, 2022.
David Zipper.

“Until the early 1970s, Japan endured a high rate of road fatalities. Now the nation boasts one of the world’s best traffic safety records.”

“No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health” World Health Organization

January 4, 2023.

“The World Health Organization has now published a statement in The Lancet Public Health: when it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health…. Globally, the WHO European Region has the highest alcohol consumption level and the highest proportion of drinkers in the population.”

Page updated on 3/27/2024.