Prescribing a Healthy Lifestyle Polypill With High Therapeutic Efficacy in Many Shapes and Sizes

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2015 Nov 30;11(6):476-478. doi: 10.1177/1559827615619341. eCollection 2017 Nov-Dec.


The paradigm allowing for a lifestyle immersed in unhealthy behaviors to perpetuate to a point where a non-communicable disease (NCD) is eminent or manifests, and then initiating health care interventions, is deeply flawed, results in poor outcomes, and is unsustainable. This paradigm describes the current predominant healthcare model in many countries around the world and has resulted in the continual increase in unhealthy lifestyle patterns that have led to the global NCD epidemic. It is now broadly recognized that rapid integration of a new healthcare model, one heavily focused on primordial and primary NCD prevention, is needed. Being physically active, eating healthy and nutritious foods, not smoking and minimizing second-hand exposure, and maintaining an appropriate body weight are central to this new prevention model. Combined, these four characteristics can be viewed as the key ingredients for the "healthy lifestyle polypill". Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA), European Society of Cardiology (ESC), European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), and American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) came together to publish, in both the Mayo Clinic Proceedings and European Heart Journal, a policy statement entitled "Healthy Lifestyle Interventions to Combat Non-Communicable Disease: A Novel Non-Hierarchical Connectivity Model for Key Stakeholders". We hope the AHA-ESC-EACPR-ACPM healthy lifestyle policy statement prompts a massive increase in production of the healthy lifestyle polypill. Regulatory approval is not needed to start manufacturing and distributing this medication. The polypill can take many forms and have differing ingredients and dosages while still maintaining high therapeutic efficacy.

Keywords: exercise; healthy lifestyle; nutrition; smoking cessation; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review