American College of Lifestyle Medicine Supports Legislation to Integrate Nutrition, Physical Activity into Medical Education

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The American College of Lifestyle Medicine has announced its support of two proposed bills being discussed today in Washington that would change the paradigm of medical education by focusing on lifestyle medicine to address the nation’s rising chronic disease rate.

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The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is endorsing two bills being discussed today in Washington at a Capitol Hill briefing on “Transforming Medical Education to Prevent Chronic Disease.” The briefing will discuss how proposed legislation like the ENRICH Act and the EAT for Health Act can facilitate a changing paradigm in the field of medical education by focusing on lifestyle medicine to address our nation's rising chronic disease rate.

Panelists include representatives from ACLM's strategic partners, American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative (LMEd), as well as ACLM President-elect Dr. Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH, who is Chief Medical Director of Cummins, Inc.

The Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curriculums and Healthcare Act (ENRICH Act), H.R. 1413, is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) establishing a grant program to integrate nutrition and physical activity education into medical school curricula.

The Education and Training for Health Act of 2017 (EAT for Health Act), H.R. 1634, is a bill introduced by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) that would require federal agencies to develop new guidelines and procedures for integrating nutrition into continuing education requirements for federally-employed primary care health professionals. The bill instructs that the continuing education must at minimum cover the role of nutrition in the prevention, management and reversal of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer.

“Most medical students and physicians do not receive adequate training in the basics of lifestyle medicine—nutrition and physical activity—yet we know that 85 percent of chronic disease today is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices in these and other areas,” said ACLM President George Guthrie, MD, MPH, FACLM. “A plant-based diet and exercise along with appropriate hydration, sleep, and stress management often quickly and effectively improve a patient’s health by addressing the underlying lifestyle causes. Prescribing drugs for symptom management does not address the root-cause of many chronic diseases and often provides only a temporary fix.”

ACLM President-elect Shurney adds, “The evidence surrounding the efficacy of nutrition and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle on chronic disease exists and is growing. It is gratifying to know that lifestyle medicine is finally taking its place in medical education and continuing medical education in this country. Our nation’s physicians need to know how to best help their patients, and this training has been sorely lacking.”

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is taking proactive steps to fill this education gap by producing educational events and online curriculum and certification in the field. This includes the CME-accredited, 30-hour online Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program course produced in partnership with the American College of Preventive Medicine; a soon-to-debut online lifestyle medicine curriculum for medical residents, produced in partnership with the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative (LMed) and Loma Linda University; and the upcoming Lifestyle Medicine 2017 conference, set for October 22-25 at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, AZ, which will include the first-ever board certification in lifestyle medicine exam. Other online education and live events are in development.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanizing force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective desire to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the cause of disease. Join today at http://www.LifestyleMedicine.org. Also, join us at Lifestyle Medicine 2017, set for October 22-25 in Tucson, AZ. For details, visit LifestyleMedicineConference.org.

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Jean Tips
American College of Lifestyle Medicine
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