Nutrition Trailblazer Dr. David Katz Begins Term As New President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine

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Leadership Team Bolstered Further with Appointment of Susan Benigas To New Role of Executive Director

Our biggest challenge is affecting culture change, not just in medicine, but to lifestyle as medicine.

Dr. David Katz has begun his two-year term as president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). The election of Dr. Katz, an internationally recognized advocate and thought leader of lifestyle medicine, coupled with the appointment of Susan Benigas, a seasoned marketing strategist and communications expert as ACLM's new executive director, positions ACLM to promote healthy living habits to a wider audience and move lifestyle medicine solidly into the mainstream of health care and society.

Dr. Katz is the founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and has an extensive media portfolio, having worked for ABC News/Good Morning America as an on-air contributor, a writer for the New York Times syndicate, and a columnist to O, the Oprah Magazine. Currently, he is a blogger/medical review board member for the Huffington Post, a health contributor to US News & World Report, one of the original 150 ‘thought leader’ Influencer bloggers for LinkedIn, and a health writer for Everyday Health.

"Dr. David Katz is a national leader in Lifestyle Medicine research, education and communication,” said Wayne Dysinger, ACLM Treasure and Nominating Committee Chair. “He is a highly published author and is followed closely by national press and media organizations as well as by thousands who read his blogs. As Dr. Katz assumes his role as ACLM president, we expect a synergy that will continue to grow the case that Lifestyle Medicine is an important element of the solution to our current health care crisis."

Dr. Katz replaces Dr. Liana Lianov as president of ACLM. Dr. Lianov is Professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Internal Medicine at the University of California Davis. During the final year of her term as ACLM president, the group's membership base grew upwards of 60 percent.

Commenting on his election as ACLM's new president, Dr. Katz said, “This is a wonderful opportunity. The very name of this organization places an emphasis on the key issue for medicine in our time. There is a lot of focus right now on health care reform, but that is merely reforming a disease care system. If we really want to value health, we must develop strategies to shift to lifestyle medicine. Our biggest challenge is affecting culture change, not just in medicine, but to lifestyle as medicine.”

In addition to Dr. Katz assuming the President's role, the ACLM Leadership Team has been strengthened with the appointment of Susan Benigas as Executive Director. Benigas brings to her new role with ACLM over 25 years of experience in project and organizational management, as well as marketing and communications expertise. The ACLM Board selected Benigas because of her impressive credentials and track record, coupled with her passion for the field of lifestyle medicine.

One of the strategic initiatives that Katz and Benigas will focus on in the months ahead is moving forward ACLM's leadership efforts to develop a comprehensive lifestyle medicine curriculum. In collaboration with the American College of Preventive Medicine, ACLM secured a grant from Cummins Corporation to produce the first phase of the curriculum. This curriculum will cover guidance for implementing the lifestyle medicine competencies and in-depth reviews of nutrition, physical activity, sleep, emotional wellbeing, and management of substance use. The initial funds secured will cover the research of existing tools, guidelines and practice models and development of training and testing materials on specific topics by expert faculty.

About Dr. David Katz
In addition to his duties as founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, Dr. Katz is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Childhood Obesity, founder and President of the non-profit Turn the Tide Foundation, and medical director for the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT. He is the principal inventor of the NuVal nutritional guidance system, currently in roughly 1700 US supermarkets in more than 30 states, coast to coast. He holds five U.S. patents on other inventions, with several patents currently pending. Dr. Katz has published nearly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, innumerable blogs and columns, nearly 1,000 newspaper articles, and authored or co-authored 15 books to date, including multiple editions of textbooks in both Nutrition and Preventive Medicine. More about Dr. Katz can be found at

About Lifestyle Medicine 2014
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) will host its fourth annual conference October 19 – 22, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Hotel in San Diego, California. After experiencing year-over-year attendance growth of more than 200 percent at its conference last year, ACLM is anticipating a sell-out crowd of more than 500 people to attend this year's event.

The keynote speakers for the conference, entitled Treat the Cause: Evidence Based Practice, represent the world's leading authorities in the field of Lifestyle Medicine.

About ACLM
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the first national specialty society for clinicians emphasizing the use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease. With members from all regions of the world, ACLM answers the need for quality education, the development of formal certification for the practice of clinical Lifestyle Medicine, and the necessary support and advocacy functions for this new field. ACLM membership is comprised of health care professionals of all types, including primary care physicians, specialists, researchers, professors, students, public spokespersons, hospital administrators, nutritionists, public health professionals and many others. ACLM's membership has grown over 60 percent in the past year, which makes now a great time to join the group's membership base and save on registration for Lifestyle Medicine 2014.

For more information about ACLM, please visit

For more event information and to register, please visit

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Lisa Gregory