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The Importance of Healthy Living and Defining Lifestyle Medicine

  • Robert F. KushnerEmail author
  • Jeffrey I. Mechanick
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Noncommunicable diseases Lifestyle medicine Prevention Risk factor reduction 

Abbreviations

AHA

American Heart Association

ARIC

Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

BMI

Body mass index

CVD

Cardiovascular diseases

DALY

Disability-adjusted life year

DASH

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension

DSE

Diabetes support and education

EPIC

European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

ILI

Intensive lifestyle-based weight loss intervention

NCD

Noncommunicable diseases

NHANES

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NIH

National Institutes of Health

OR

Odd ratios

PURE

Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology

SCD

Sudden cardiac death

T2D

Type-2 diabetes

WOH

World Health Organization

YLDs

Years lived with disabilities

YLL

Years of life lost

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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

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