LifeStyle Medicine

LifeStyle Medicine: Patient Education, Research Summit and AAFP CME Ron Stout MD MPH, Janet Calhoun BS MA Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach to preventing, treating and reversing diseases by replacing unhealthy behaviors with positive ones — such as eating healthfully, being physically active, managing stress, avoiding risky substance abuse, adequate sleep and having a strong support system. The Ardmore Institute of Health (AIH) has partnered with American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to offer simple, evidenced-based English and Spanish language patient education materials titled: LIFESTYLE MEDICINE FOCUSES ON 6 AREAS TO IMPROVE HEALTH. These materials can be downloaded for patient use and are available at There is a growing body of basic science, clinical practice, and population health evidence for applying healthy behaviors and lifestyles to prevent, treat and reverse common chronic diseases. To showcase these advances and create a roadmap for the future research, The Lifestyle Medicine Research Summit took place Dec 4-5, 2019. The Summit was made possible through the support of the Ardmore Institute of Health in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The meeting was held in close conjunction with a joint University of Pittsburgh/Department of Defense (DOD) meeting on Human Performance Enhancement that presented synergies in content and approach. The Summit’s goal was to define research priorities in the core areas of lifestyle medicine namely nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness/stress/resilience, social relationships, addictions and sleep. The attendees reviewed existing knowledge and gaps relating lifestyle behaviors to common chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, many cancers, inflammatory- and immune-related disorders and other conditions.  A priority outcome of the Summit is a summary white paper of findings and research recommendations to be published in one or more nationally prominent peer-reviewed journal(s). Renowned researchers and practicing clinicians presented and attended the Summit. The presentations from the event and additional details about this convening can be found at The AAFP in collaboration with AIH is outlining a project focused on Lifestyle Medicine education for clinicians. The project aims to develop a practice manual and continuing medical education that incorporates implementation tools, patient education, and advocacy strategies. The goal is to influence and shape local health care and community health practices  to encourage the incorporation of lifestyle medicine in practice to better health, well-being, and health equity. Four family physicians with expertise in lifestyle medicine are being invited to serve as working advisory panel members. These physicians will guide content development and contribute narrative for both the practice manual and continuing medical education portions of this project. Kevin Kovach (AAFP staff) and the AAFP Lifestyle Medicine Member Interest Group (MIG) are helping to guide this effort. Stay tuned!

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