It is well known that health care spending in the US is either at or very near unsustainable levels, and is expected to continue rising at a dramatic pace. If a solution to this problem is not found quickly, the result could be devastating. So, how do we increase the health of our population and reduce health care costs?
“78% of our healthcare costs are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors—namely our diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, chronic stress, and environmental toxins.”
“There is strong evidence that this approach (lifestyle intervention) works and saves money. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t usually pay for it. No one profits from lifestyle medicine, so it is not part of medical education or practice. It should be the foundation of our healthcare system.”
-Hyman, MA et al. “Lifestyle medicine: treating the causes of disease.” Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15(6):12-14.
“Our results support the hypothesis that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in persons at high risk for the disease. The incidence of diabetes was reduced by 58 percent with the lifestyle intervention...”
-Knowler WC, et al. “Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin.” N Engl J Med. 2002;346(6):393-403.
“A Cochrane review of 32 longitudinal analyses and 17 RCTs showed that intensive counseling strategies incorporating behavioral, dietary, and exercise components resulted in a weight loss of 3 to 4 kg over 1 to 3.3 years.  The loss was linked with improved glucose tolerance, improved physical functioning, reduced incidence of diabetes, hypertension and CVD, and reduced bone density.”
“A 6-month lifestyle change intervention in obese, sedentary, postmenopausal women showed that women significantly increased their physical activity (+39.6%) and cardiorespiratory fitness (+13.5%) and reduced their body weight (-6.5%), fat mass (-7.4%), body fat (-2.4%), BP (SBP -6.2%, DBP -9.2%), total cholesterol (-7.4%), triglycerides (-16.5%), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (9.1%) and improved their diet (p < 0.05). ”
-“Lifestyle Medicine - Evidence Review.” American College of Preventive Medicine. June 30, 2009.
“The data from the EPIC-Potsdam study show the unfulfilled potential of preventing chronic diseases. Adhering to recommendations for the 4 lifestyle factors (never smoking, having a body mass index lower than 30, performing 3.5 hrs/wk or more of physical activity, and adhering to healthy dietary principles) considered in our analyses can potentially yield enormous reductions in the onset of major chronic diseases such as CVD, diabetes, and cancer.”
“Our results and those of others emphasize the importance and urgency of continuing vigorous efforts to convince people to adopt healthy lifestyles.”
-Ford, ES et al. “Healthy Living Is the Best Revenge: Findings...” Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(15):1355-1362.