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

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

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a Department of Physical Therapy, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, and Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Science , University of Illinois , Chicago , IL , USA.
b Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School , The University of Queensland School of Medicine , New Orleans , LA , USA.
c Department of Population Medicine , Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute , Boston , MA , USA.
d Diabetes Unit , Massachusetts General Hospital , Boston , MA , USA.
e Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine , Creighton University School of Medicine , Omaha , NE , USA.
f Office of Institutional Analytics , University of New Mexico , Albuquerque , NM , USA.
g Heart Failure Unit and Cardiopulmonary Laboratory, Cardiology, I.R.C.C.S. , Policlinico San Donato University Hospital , Milan , Italy.


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.


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

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