White House highlights American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s $24.1 million commitment to advance training of physicians and other clinicians in food as medicine to fight epidemic diet-related chronic diseases

The ACLM’s commitment to donate continuing medical education courses in nutrition to 100,000 US physicians and other healthcare providers is made in conjunction with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and health.

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM)’s commitment to donate $24.1 million in in-kind nutrition and diet training courses as medicine to physicians and other healthcare professionals nationwide was highlighted by The Biden-Harris Administration Thursday at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

The commitment includes $22 million providing 5.5 free hours of continuing medical education (CME) credits in nutrition and lifestyle medicine to 100,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals. Clinicians treating patients in areas with a high prevalence of diet-related illnesses are encouraged to register for the free online Lifestyle Medicine and Food as Medicine Essentials course at lifesylemedicine.org/WHConference.

Additionally, the ACLM, in partnership with the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, has made an additional matching funds commitment of $2.1 million to cover half of the cost of medical training and certification for the lifestyle for a primary care provider in each of the approximately 1,400 US federally licensed healthcare facilities. Centers across the United States to expand access to lifestyle medicine, including diet and physical activity as medicine, in underresourced communities.

The ACLM pledge supports the national strategy unveiled Tuesday by the Biden-Harris administration to “end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so that fewer Americans suffer from diseases related to food, while reducing health disparities”. The strategy was announced a day before the conference, designed to catalyze the public and private sectors around a coordinated effort to drive transformative change in the United States to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce disparities around them. The last such event took place in 1969 and resulted in the creation of important programs such as school meals, the special supplementary nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC) and changes in the how foods are labelled.

“The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health has the potential to be a watershed moment in how we as a nation respond to the growing crisis of lifestyle-related chronic diseases in United States,” said ACLM President Cate Collings. , MD, FACC, MS, DipABLM, cardiologist and guest conference participant. “It is clear that simply managing the symptoms of chronic diseases with ever-increasing amounts of expensive drugs and procedures without addressing the root causes of these diseases is a failure of our healthcare system. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is proud to make this important commitment to help educate, equip and empower clinician practitioners to effectively prescribe evidence-based lifestyle medicine interventions in nutrition and help alter the trajectory of disease. chronicles.

While genetics can predispose people to certain diseases, lifestyle and environment play a major role in disease onset. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented, mainly by improving diet and lifestyle. Hunger and diet-related disease affect many communities, including rural areas, people with disabilities, the elderly, LGBTQI+ people, military families and veterans. The United States incurs $1.1 trillion a year in food-related human costs, including $604 billion attributable to diet-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the Rockefeller Foundation.

Science shows that lifestyle medicine is an effective way to treat and even reverse many diseases such as obesity, diabetes or heart disease, while offering strong preventive qualities. However, as lifestyle medicine, including nutrition, is increasingly integrated into the education and training of medical schools and residency programs, few practicing physicians have received adequate training. in nutrition or physical activity. The ACLM, the only organization that educates, equips and supports the certification of physicians and other clinicians in lifestyle medicine, offers a comprehensive catalog of educational resources.

“The majority of physicians in practice today have likely received little or no training in clinical nutrition and physical activity,” said Brenda Rea, MD, DrPH, PT, RD, DipABLM, Lifestyle Medicine Intensivist, FACLM, co-chair of the ACLM. Education Committee and Faculty Member in Residence in Family Medicine at Loma Linda University Health Education Consortium. “The continuing medical education courses the ACLM is making available to 100,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals are a major step in helping these providers develop the strong foundation they need to integrate lifestyle medicine. in their practices and partner with their patients to help them achieve their health goals”.

Lifestyle medicine is a growing medical specialty that uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic diseases, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus 2 and obesity. Clinicians board certified in lifestyle medicine are trained to apply prescriptive, evidence-based lifestyle changes to the whole person to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse these conditions . Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine – a plant-based diet, physical activity, restful sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social relationships – also provides effective prevention of these conditions.

Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and founding member of the ACLM, congratulated the professional medical society and the planners of the White House Conference for their collaboration in promoting this unique learning opportunity to physicians and other healthcare professionals.

“We are facing an epidemic of chronic diseases related to lifestyle and diet in our country. Our healthcare professionals must be trained – and, ideally, certified – in lifestyle medicine to effectively address the root causes of disease,” Dr. Ornish said. “This commitment will serve as a spark to ignite the transformation we desperately need in our nation’s health care system, as we work to address the health disparities related to lifestyle-related chronic diseases that have too much havoc. I encourage my fellow physicians across the country to take advantage of this CME opportunity made possible by the ACLM, while urging other key members of their clinical practice teams to do the same. Now is the time for us to be the change we want to see in our country’s healthcare system, for the benefit of both patients and providers.

In November, U.S. Representative James McGovern introduced House Resolution 784, a resolution that has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and supports activities that ensure health professional education programs incorporate a background training in nutrition and food.

“There is a serious gap in teaching our healthcare professionals about the power of food and nutrition in healthcare. This harms patients who would benefit from holistic treatments or prevention plans and is something we can no longer ignore,” Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern said. “In accordance with the resolution I introduced with Dr. Burgess that passed the House earlier this year, the funding announced by the ACLM to educate medical providers on the value of diet and nutrition will strengthen the health and well-being of Americans across the country. I applaud the ACLM’s engagement on this issue and hope it continues to be a vital part of the conversations taking place at the historic White House conference this week.

“As a physician and primary co-sponsor of Resolution 784, I am acutely aware of the importance of nutrition in medical education,” said U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, MD. “It is so badly needed and I support the work of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to change this across the spectrum of medical education. Their commitment to training physicians, especially in our underresourced areas, is commendable. .

“Ensuring our medical professionals have access to the critical information that helped save my life is a game-changer,” said New York Mayor Eric Adams. “Lifestyle medicine is personal to me, and together, armed with the right tools, we can ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the healthy lifestyle they deserve.”

ABOUT ACLM

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is the nation’s professional medical society advancing lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a reimagined, values-based, equitable health care delivery system that leads to health of the person as a whole. The ACLM educates, equips, empowers and supports its members through quality evidence-based education, certification and research to identify and eradicate the root cause of chronic disease, with a clinical outcome goal of restoring health versus disease management. Learn more at lifestylemedicine.org.

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