The Importance of Healthy Living and Defining Lifestyle Medicine
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are a primary source of the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and account for about 63 % of all deaths. Over the past several years, there has been an increased interest in evaluating the benefit of adhering to ‘low-risk lifestyle’ behaviors and ideal ‘cardiovascular health metrics.’ Although a healthy lifestyle has repeatedly been shown to improve mortality, the population prevalence of healthy living remains low. Lifestyle medicine is a new discipline that has recently emerged as a systematized approach for management of chronic disease. The practice of lifestyle medicine requires skills and competency in addressing multiple health-risk behaviors and improving self-management. This chapter focuses on the impact of a healthy lifestyle on chronic disease, the rarity of good health, and defining lifestyle medicine as a unique discipline.
KeywordsNoncommunicable diseases Lifestyle medicine Prevention Risk factor reduction
American Heart Association
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
Body mass index
Disability-adjusted life year
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Diabetes support and education
European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition
Intensive lifestyle-based weight loss intervention
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
National Institutes of Health
Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology
Sudden cardiac death
World Health Organization
Years lived with disabilities
Years of life lost
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