“Lifestyle medicine is not complementary or alternative—it’s mainstream,”

, by Noemi Cummings

“Lifestyle medicine is not complementary or alternative—it’s mainstream,” 


“Lifestyle medicine is not complementary or alternative—it’s mainstream,” says Rob Lawson, a retired NHS GP from East Lothian now working privately, who is chair of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM), founded in 2016. He says people need to realise it’s not just about nutrition. “You’ve got to get to the people who need it most. They’re not going to switch fish and chips for avocado and chia seeds,” he says. Helping people find a purpose in life and beat isolation can tackle the “upstream causes” of disease, he says.

Key to the delivery of lifestyle medicine is the ability to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes through behavioural change management techniques. “It’s all about behavioural psychology and buy-in,” says Alex Maxwell, a GP in Thornton Heath, south London, who is introducing lifestyle medicine into his practice.

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4442 (Published 25 October 2018)Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4442


The American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) is now offering certification in lifestyle medicine. Certification as an ABLM diplomate distinguishes a physician as having achieved competency in lifestyle medicine and signifies specialized knowledge and competency in four pillars of lifestyle medicine: nutrition, exercise, rest, and social connectivity. Join the growing number of physicians who have become diplomates and register for an upcoming examination.


http://Building Physician Competency in Lifestyle Medicine: A Model for Health Improvement. Danielle Pere, MPM . Am J Prev Med 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Lifestyle Medicine—An Emerging New Discipline

"Unhealthful lifestyle behaviors are a primary source of the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and account for about 63 % of all global deaths. Recently, there has been an increased interest in evaluating the benefit of adhering to low-risk lifestyle behaviors and ideal cardiovascular health metrics. Although a healthful lifestyle has repeatedly been shown to improve mortality, the population prevalence of healthy living remains low. The new discipline of lifestyle medicine has recently emerged as a systematized approach for the management of chronic disease. The practice of lifestyle medicine requires skills and competency in addressing multiple health risk behaviors and improving self-management. This article focuses on the effects of a healthful lifestyle on chronic disease and defining lifestyle medicine as a unique discipline. It also reviews the role of effective provider–patient communication as an essential element for fostering behavior change—the main component of lifestyle medicine. The principles of communication and behavior change are skill based and are grounded in scientific theories and models. Communication and counseling must be contextualized to the patients’ economic situation, access to care, social support, culture, and health literacy."


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