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June 23/30, 2004

Modifiable Behavioral Factors as Causes of Death

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2941. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2942-b

To the Editor: To compute the fraction of mortality attributed to specific behaviors relating to poor diet and overweight, Dr Mokdad and colleagues1 estimated the annual deaths due to overweight. We do not understand the authors' conclusion that the "major impact of poor diet and physical inactivity" would be mediated by overweight, and we are puzzled by why they cited one of our articles2 to support this assertion. We have 2 concerns about their approach.

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