So we discussed in 2 previous articles about the 4 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine. We also established that Lifestyle Medicine is the best way to go forward in healthcare because it is less destructive and it also is the solution to the twin problems of Cardiovascular disease and Cancer, 2 inflammatory diseases that are a result of poor lifestyle choices.
For the introduction and practice of lifestyle medicine as an effective therapy for the rampant rise of chronic diseases – not only in the U.S. but also in other parts of the world – we need to apply a program utilized by a healthcare organization that is genuinely concerned about the promotion of patient wellness and not only because of the profit angle. This lifestyle medicine approach will have the following elements:
* A medical doctor trained in lifestyle techniques
* Support staff
* Patient educators who are well-versed in plant-based diets
* Access to behavioral health
This approach will be used to “encourage, educate, and support patients” to be motivated to achieve their goals.
So here is the recommended list of lifestyle recommendations and behavior changes:
Practitioner education regarding benefits of healthy lifestyle recommendations
- Plant-based nutrition certification, Cornell University
- American College of Lifestyle Medicine certification
- Lifestyle conference attendance (e.g., The Plantrician Project: www.plantricianproject.org)
- Endorsement by providers to adopt such practices
- Online resources: T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (http://nutritionstudies.org);
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org)
Identification of team members engaged in promotion of a healthy lifestyle
- Physician colleagues
- Dietitians trained in whole-foods, plant-based nutrition
- Social workers
- Behavioral therapists
- Lifestyle coaches
Promotion of exercise programs
- Walk to Thrive (https://kpwalktothrive.org/) or any other exercise program that promotes walking
- Exercise coaches
Endorsement of alternative approaches to health and well-being
Establishment of and participation in cooking demonstrations and classes in the clinic and community—patient provision of resources
- Health education handouts and pamphlets addressing health and wellness
- Community-provided educational material
- Reputable Website resources
- Vigorous endorsement by providers to adopt such practices
(Source: source: Bodai BI, Nakata TE, Wong WT, et al. Lifestyle medicine: A brief review of its dramatic impact on health and survival. Perm J 2018;22:17-025. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/17-025.)
What we need to do is band together as medical practitioners, caregivers, health professionals, etc. and convince people to follow a lifestyle-based medicine approach to good health. Using the 4 pillars of lifestyle medicine: healthy eating, healthy weight, moderate exercise and emotional resilience, we aim to reduce mortality by chronic diseases hopefully in the short-term.
How about you – do you have any other ideas for a lifestyle-based medicine approach? Share your ideas in the comments below!