Lifestyle Medicine is the science and application of healthy lifestyles as interventions for the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, some neurological conditions and some cancers. It is the evidence-based specialty bridging the science of physical activity, nutrition, stress management and resilience; sleep hygiene and other healthy habits to individuals through clinical practice in healthcare.
The best keep secret in medicine is the power of nutrition, when the body heals himself. This is the best investment you can make (The Best Kept Secret in Medicine).
Lifestyle intervention is a key element of prevention and control of hypertension, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and death from all causes. This because it reduces blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and influence the fundamental causes and biological mechanisms leading to disease. For example, the Nurses’ Health Study found that the risk of coronary heart disease15 and type 2 diabetes mellitus16 was reduced 5- and 10-fold, respectively, among those who engaged in 5 modifiable healthy behaviors.
The results from this nationally representative database 2000 Study: Healthy_lifestyle_characteristics_2000, show that just 3.0% of US adults followed a combination of 4 modifiable lifestyle characteristics— nonsmoking, healthy weight, adequate fruit and vegetable consumption, and regular physical activity. No subgroup engaged in all 4 healthy lifestyles to any important degree— the highest prevalence being only 5.7%. These results illustrate the extraordinarily low prevalence of healthy lifestyles in the US adult population.
The age-adjusted prevalence estimates of the healthy lifestyle indicator (ie, engaging in all 4 HLCs) by the 6 demographic and health-related variables are shown in Table 2.
The overall prevalence was only 3.0%, and the absolute differences across subgroups were small, ranging from 0.8% (in persons with less than high school education) to only 5.7% (in persons in excellent health):
The objectives of this study were to report on the prevalence of healthy lifestyle characteristics (HLCs) and to generate a single indicator of a healthy lifestyle.
We defined the following 4 HLCs: nonsmoking, healthy weight (body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters] of 18.5-25.0), consuming 5 or more fruits and vegetables per day, and regular physical activity (30 minutes for5 times per week).
The 4 HLCs were summed to create a healthy lifestyle index (range, 0-4), and the pattern of following all 4 HLCs was defined as a single healthy lifestyle indicator.
By using data from more than 153 000 adults, the prevalence (95% confidence interval) of the individual HLCs was as follows: nonsmoking, 76.0% (75.6%-76.4%); healthy weight, 40.1% (39.7%-40.5%); 5 fruits and vegetables per day, 23.3% (22.9%-23.7%); and regular physical activity, 22.2% (21.8%-22.6%). The overall prevalence of the healthy lifestyle indicator (ie, having all 4 HLCs) was only 3.0% (95% confidence interval, 2.8%-3.2%), with little variation among subgroups (range, 0.8%-5.7%).
Conclusion: These data illustrate that a healthy lifestyle— defined as a combination of 4 HLCs—was undertaken by very few adults in the United States, and that no subgroup followed this combination to a level remotely consistent with clinical or public health recommendations.
The prevalence estimates of each HLC by the 6 demographic and health-related variables are shown in Table1:
Seventy-six percent (95% CI, 75.6%-76.4%) of US adults did not currently smoke cigarettes. Nonsmoking showed strong positive trends with increasing age, education, household income, and health status. Only 40.1% (95% CI, 39.7-40.5%) of adults had healthy weight, which showed a strong inverse trend with age and positive trends with education and health status. Healthy weight was more common in women and among whites. Only 23.3% (95% CI, 22.9%-23.7%) of persons consumed fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day, while regular LTPA was undertaken by only 22.2% (95% CI, 21.8%-22.6%).
The results generated from this nationally representative database indicate that just 3.0% of US adults followed a combination of 4 modifiable lifestyle characteristics— nonsmoking, healthy weight, adequate fruit and vegetable consumption, and regular physical activity. No subgroup engaged in all 4 healthy lifestyles to any important degree— the highest prevalence being only 5.7%. These results illustrate the extraordinarily low prevalence of healthy lifestyles in the US adult population.
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Date: February 2019, Location: Caracas, Quito, Guayaquil.
- Introduction to Lifestyle MedicineIn Module 1, you will be able to:
- Define Lifestyle Medicine
- Identify what constitutes a health lifestyle
- Compare traditional Western Medicine with Lifestyle Medicine
- Identify the current guidelines for nutrition, exercise and sleep
- Healthy Lifestyle Characteristics Among Adults in the United States, 2000
- Synopsis of the Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee Summary
- The Best Kept Secret in Medicine
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