Close this search box.

A Not Very Fun Top Ten List

David Letterman is well known for his late-night television show that started on NBC in 1982 (after the Tonight show) and then, in 1992, when Jay Leno was chosen as Johnny Carson’s replacement instead, Letterman brought his show to CBS in the time slot directly competing with Leno and The Tonight Show.  In 2015 Letterman retired from the show.  His trademark routine?  His “Top Ten” List.  He actually started doing this routine in 1985.  According to People magazine in 1990, the lists were originally conceived to run for two or three weeks and then be retired. But somehow, they persevered and carried over to Letterman’s “Late Show” program on CBS. They were originally intended as a parody of Good Housekeeping magazine’s “Most Admired Men” list.

Letterman’s “Top Ten” list were clever and funny.  However, today I am going to provide a “Top Ten” list that is not funny at all.  The CDC just published their “Top Ten” list of the causes of death in the United States.  The data is from 2021.  Here goes:

  1. Heart disease: 695,547
  2. Cancer: 605,213
  3. COVID-19: 416,893
  4. Accidents: 224,935
  5. Stroke: 162,890
  6. Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,342
  7. Alzheimer’s disease: 119,399
  8. Diabetes: 103,294
  9. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: 56,585
  10. Kidney disease: 54,358


The above “Top Ten” causes of death are responsible for almost 76% of the total deaths in the United States for 2021 (the last year that statistics have been analyzed…2022 is currently being tabulated)

When looking at the “Top Ten” list above, 9 of the 10 have obesity as a risk factor.  The only one that is not weight-related is accidents.  This is not to say that obesity is the only cause of these other 9 “Top Ten” death reasons.  Many other factors play roles as well.  However, it is a sobering thought that the topic I write about every day is one that can impact life expectancy.

We are all motivated to shed weight to help us look younger, fit into stylish clothes, have more energy, higher self-confidence etc…however, helping to keep us alive is by far and away, the most important reason.   Stay focused on your efforts to lose that weight.

I am leaving a very serious subject (death) to now end with a lighter subject: Letterman’s final “Top Ten” list aired on May 20, 2015.

Other Blogs