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Lifestyle Factors & The Prevention Movement

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Lifestyle Factors & The Prevention Movement. Diane B. Wilson EdD, RD Mary S. McLellan MS,RD Medical University of South Carolina.

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Lifestyle Factors &The Prevention Movement

Diane B. Wilson EdD, RD

Mary S. McLellan MS,RD

Medical University of South Carolina


Developed as part of an Enhanced AHEC Community Partnership for Health Professions Workforce and Educational Reform project funded by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA)



  • Prevalence of lifestyle factors, contribution to risk of chronic disease
  • Prevention Programs
health promotion
Health Promotion
  • Any intervention that seeks to eliminate or reduce exposures to harmful factors by modifying human behaviors; or any combination of health education and related organizational, political and economic interventions designed to facilitate behavioral and environmental adaptations that will improve or protect health
  • Concerned specifically with sociobehavorialprocesses

Lifestyle Factors

“Genes load the gun.Lifestyle pulls the trigger”

Dr. Elliot Joslin

choices made in regard to



Substance Abuse



Sexual behavior

Other Life-style Factors

Choices Made In Regard To:

“Tobacco is the most important single preventable cause of death in the United States today” USDHHS, 1990

  • Responsible for 400,000 deaths/year.
  • Smoking is increasing among teenagers in the US
  • Poor diet and lack of activity account for about 300,000 deaths each year.
  • Major concerns
    • Obesity
    • High Fat Diet
    • High Sugar Diet
healthy eating recommendations
Healthy Eating Recommendations
  • Eat at least three modest meals/day
  • Moderate fat intake
  • Moderate sugar intake
  • Avoid large portions
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily

“If exercise came in a bottle, it would be the most widely prescribed medicine known to man.”

Unknown Physician

substance abuse
Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol--“A little is helpful, too much is deadly”
  • Accounts for 100,000 deaths each year
  • Binge drinking is the number one campus life problem on college campuses in America.
  • Most people need about 8 hours nightly to function at maximum capacity.
  • Over two-thirds of Americans report a sleep-related problem.
  • Sleep deprivation has been implicated in recent train, bus, and airplane crashes bringing attention to the importance of sleep.
  • Continual stress in life sets off chemical reactions in the body than can eventually lead to illness.
  • Individuals constantly under stress are at greater risk for heart disease and other conditions.
  • Practicing healthy habits can help alleviate stress.
sexual behavior
Sexual Behavior
  • Abstinence is only sexual behavior absolutely free of risk, followed by life-time mutual monogamy entered into at virginity
  • Unsafe sex exposes an individual to
    • HIV virus
    • Hepatitis B
    • Genital herpes
    • Other sexually transmitted diseases
    • Unwanted pregnancy
other behavioral contributors
Other Behavioral Contributors
  • Firearms
    • #1 cause of death among young men
    • Suicide and homicide in the top causes of death in the US
  • Pollutants and Toxins
    • Asbestos
    • Other occupational hazards
discussion time

Discussion Time

To what extent does behavior change require

Personal Responsibility ?


Changes in Policy, Regulations, Culture ?

growing interest in prevention is due to
Growing Interest In Prevention Is Due To
  • National focus on prevention through Healthy People process
  • Debates about possible national health care plans
  • The move to managed approaches to care and care financing
  • Demand from informed consumers
prevention requires changed view
Population Health

Focus on prevention

Focus on groups

Tax dollars is the main source of support

Has been administered through the public health system

Traditional Medicine

Focus on treatment

Focus on individuals

Strong advocates of free enterprise

Prevention RequiresChanged View
  • Unhealthy lifestyle factors are major contributors to cause of death in the US.
  • The top factors of concern are:
    • smoking, diet/exercise, and alcohol abuse.
  • The “Prevention” trend has become an important part of healthcare.