“Lifestyle as medicine has the potential to prevent up to 80% of chronic disease. No other medicine can match that.” (Dr David Katz)
Chronic and lifestyle-related conditions are a substantial global, national and individual health issue, now responsible for around 70% of deaths worldwide. What’s more, our healthcare system is rapidly becoming unsustainable under the strain of the chronic and lifestyle-related disease epidemic.
In order to address this growing burden, we must actively and effectively deal with the root causes of the problem. Many chronic conditions – the most common including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic musculoskeletal conditions, diabetes and mental health conditions- share common risk factors that are largely preventable or treatable.
Lifestyle Medicine is transforming the way we manage, treat and prevent chronic conditions by addressing these behavioural, social and environmental drivers; the modifiable aspects of the whole person (physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual), health behaviours, environment, and other circumstances. This is underpinned by an enhancement of self-empowerment and self-efficacy to manage and improve our own health.
Importantly, Lifestyle Medicine also recognises the upstream determinants of disease; promoting health equity, environmental sustainability, social justice and corporate responsibility. As a result, it recognises that not one health discipline or profession alone can meet our health needs. Instead, Lifestyle Medicine emphasises the essentiality of an interdisciplinary approach to health and healthcare, which shifts away from siloed practice and creates a genuinely collaborative means through which complex problems can be solved.
As a multidisciplinary society that supports an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare, ASLM offers equal membership, education and professional development to doctors, allied health practitioners, public health professionals, researchers and educators.