Drink to Your. . . Health?
As a family demographer, I very much enjoyed the issue on the Orthodox family in the twenty-first century (spring 2012). I want, however, to point out an error in Shira Isenberg’s article “Drink to Your . . . Health?” Although I certainly agree with her overall message that there’s no need to worry about our annual “binge” on Pesach, alcohol is not the third-leading cause of preventable death in the US—it’s the tenth. The statistic Isenberg cited was from a CDC web site that was discussing deaths specifically from injury (http://www.cdc.gov/ about/stateofcdc/html/implement.htm). I suspect that the number of alcohol-related deaths among American Orthodox Jews is even lower.
In fact, the leading causes of preventable death for the US overall may very well be even more pronounced in the American Orthodox community: excessive consumption of meat, fat, salt and sugar, and low intake of green leafy vegetables combined with little physical exercise and high rates of obesity.
Leora Lawton, Ph.D.