The NYTimes has a little piece on how Americans under the age of 50, those not so fortunate as to truly "belong" in this forum (but always welcome as long as they stay off the lawn), are dying at much higher rates than their peers in other developed countries. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/he...t-says.html?hp
While the article focuses on several hypotheses to explain this problem by noting our uniquely fractured health care delivery system and penchant for gun violence, I have my own pet hypothesis. Mine at least has the advantage that I first proposed it before the data started coming in, so it is a model that has had some predictive value. Of course, that may be its only value. Oh, it has one more thing going for it; it makes this news article about the premature deaths of the "50 -" crowd relevant to a cycling forum.
Here it is: My spouse and I call the folks born between 1965 and 1985 the "lost generation" because they were too young for the second bike boom in America that took place in the 1960s and '70s, and have largely missed the third boom that has occurred during the past decade, although their kids haven't. As a result, they are fatter and more addicted to car use for their every transportation desire and they've never seen a world that was otherwise. Now, we all know that riding a bike helps reduce weight, fights diabetes, lowers blood pressure and likely reduces coronary artery disease. Well, those are exactly the diseases that are killing our under-fifties.
I'll try to bear in mind their shorter life expectancies when I am "wishing them well" just after one of these short-lifers tries to shorten my life with his/her car. Of course they're in a hurry; they have so few years to live.