Death rates in the United Stares are plummeting, according to the National Center for Health Statistics; and the discrepancy between the races is closing. Looking at the figure, I'd estimate an 8-10% reduction in age-adjusted death rates since 2000. I blame George Bush.
Seriously, I'm glad I didn't write an article like this one, suggesting that mortality rates were likely to increase due to the increase in obesity.
UPDATE: missed link fixed, thanks to Flea