Why Lifestyle Medicine?

  • Jeffrey I. MechanickEmail author
  • Robert F. Kushner


The question ‘Why Lifestyle Medicine?’ is answered by discussing the concept of chronic diseases and their increased prevalence rates that are resistant to current care models. The great burden of this problem is described and the need for a new chronic disease care model is proposed. Epidemiological dimensions as well as issues with health messaging and campaigns that are scalable to address this problem are presented. A new lifestyle medicine paradigm that incorporates the facets of preventive medicine, wellness, and health promotion, and disease complexity and residual risk is proposed and involves novel tools and metrics, such as the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) and the quality-adjusted life year (QALY). In short, the need for lifestyle medicine is based on persistent drivers of chronic disease and inadequacy of current care models to address complexity, residual risk, and challenging health-care socioeconomics.


Lifestyle medicine Chronic disease Disease complexity Preventive medicine Health promotion 



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Cardiovascular disease


Disability-adjusted life year


Global burden of disease


Health-based target


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


Noncommunicable diseases


Quality-adjusted life year


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone DiseaseIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Northwestern Comprehensive Center on ObesityNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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