Lifestyle Medicine

Lifestyle Medicine Definition

Lifestyle medicine is the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life. Examples of target patient behaviors include but are not limited to eliminating tobacco use, improving diet, increasing physical activity, and moderating alcohol consumption.

Value Statement

Lifestyle practices and health habits are among the nation's most important health determinants. Changing unhealthy behaviors is foundational to medical care, disease prevention, and health promotion. The physician's trusted relationship with the patient, with the support of the family, an interdisciplinary team and the community, is key to improving health behaviors and outcomes.

Lifestyle Medicine (LM) is the use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease. Such interventions include:

  • Diet (nutrition)
  • Exercise
  • Stress Management
  • Smoking Cessation
  • A variety of other non-drug modalities

A growing body of scientific evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle intervention is an essential component in the treatment of chronic disease that can be as effective as medication, but without the risks and unwanted side-effects.

The field of lifestyle medicine has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last two decades. In the 1999 landmark textbook entitled "Lifestyle Medicine," editor James Rippe, MD, expressed the hope it would "open an entire new branch of medicine..."

LM is becoming the preferred modality for not only the prevention but the treatment of most chronic diseases, including:

  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Insulin Resistance Syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Many types of cancer

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