Who will deliver comprehensive healthy lifestyle interventions to combat non-communicable disease? Introducing the healthy lifestyle practitioner discipline

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2016;14(1):15-22. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2016.1107477. Epub 2015 Nov 2.


Unhealthy lifestyle characteristics (i.e., physical inactivity, excess body mass, poor diet, and smoking) as well as associated poor health metrics (i.e., dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension) are the primary reasons for the current non-communicable disease crisis. Compared to those with the poorest of lifestyles and associated health metrics, any movement toward improving lifestyle and associated health metrics improves health outcomes. To address the non-communicable disease crisis we must: 1) acknowledge that healthy lifestyle (HL) interventions are a potent medicine; and 2) move toward a healthcare system that embraces primordial as much as, if not more than, secondary prevention with a heavy focus on HL medicine. This article introduces the Healthy Lifestyle Practitioner, focused on training health professionals to deliver HL medicine.

Keywords: Obesity; diabetes; dyslipidemia; exercise; healthy diet; hypertension; physical inactivity; poor nutrition; smoking cessation; tobacco; weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Feeding Behavior* / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior* / psychology
  • Health Occupations / education*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / etiology
  • Hypertension* / prevention & control
  • Life Style*
  • Metabolic Diseases* / etiology
  • Metabolic Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Overweight* / etiology
  • Overweight* / prevention & control
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Smoking* / adverse effects