The No. 2 Instrument of Death

What do you think causes more deaths in the United States each year?

  • Car crashes
  • Drug overdoses
  • Alcoholism
  • Firearm accidents

All of those combined don’t total a third of this insidious instrument of death: food.

We are literally eating our way into the grave.

Obesity (caused by bad diet and lack of exercise) kills some 400,000 people in this country every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Only smoking-related diseases account for more deaths, with a total of 435,000 annually, the CDC reports.

A staggering 129.6 million Americans are overweight or obese—that’s two out of every three people in this country. Think about it. While our ancestors battled disease, famine and other deprivations, we are killing ourselves—with excess.

On top of that, we no longer have to chase down and kill our own food. Instead, we chase the world while sitting in front of a computer screen all day, every day, often neglecting to schedule in some form of physical activity. A recent article in The New York Times cited several studies showing that sitting for extended periods—at a desk, in front of the TV, etc.—leads to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and early death.

Author Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist, detailed how the body shuts down following prolonged periods of sitting, causing a metabolic disaster of such proportions that even getting a full hour of exercise each day can’t offset the impact.

We DO have a healthcare problem, and most of it is SELF-inflicted. We aren’t taking proper care of our own health. We need a new healthcare policy, and I don’t mean one enacted by Washington—but one enacted by you. You are the only one responsible for what you put into your mouth and how often you move your body.

Our June issue of SUCCESS is focused around the theme of energy—what many call the essence of life.

Physicists say everything is made of energy. Energy is our life force and vitality. What you eat and drink either feeds, frees and bolsters your energy, or it dampens, hinders and stifl es that energy. Your lifestyle—how you move and rest—either circulates, awakens and replenishes that energy, or it burdens, depresses and quells it.

Our aim with this issue of SUCCESS is not only to provide you an immediate rush of energy to tackle this month with new zeal, but also to offer some important insights and lifestyle strategies that will provide you long-term vitality.

Be sure to listen to the CD inside. I interview one of my favorite authors Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project and author of The Power of Full Engagement and The Way We’re Working, Isn’t Working. I also interview Dr. Oz’s secret wellness weapon–his personal fitness trainer Joel Harper. Some GREAT tips on this CD, don’t miss it!

I wish you joie de vivre (the joy of living)!

What are your best tips for getting energized and staying energized throughout the day? Share them with us in comments below.


Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.

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