The Lifestyle Medicine Society was founded by family physicians, as part of the Israel Association of Family Physicians in the Israeli Medical Association.
It was established in order to promote a healthy lifestyle as a tool for increasing control of health and management of diseases.
Lifestyle medicine has evolved during the last decade concurrently with the dramatic rise in the prevalence of preventable chronic diseases or such that can be managed better with the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. According to World Health Organization's estimations, by the year 2020 about two thirds of the diseases around the world will be ones related to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.
Lifestyle medicine has become a branch of clinical medicine which includes a series of evidence-based interventions that aim to help patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The essence of care in lifestyle medicine is to concentrate on managing the reasons for the disease and not the disease itself. This approach can help prevent the disease or bring to a complete or partial remission.
Lifestyle medicine relies on behavioral modifications in four main domains: (a) physical activity, (b) healthy and balanced nutrition, (c) smoking cessation and (d) stress management, as well as other domains related to general health. In addition, it emphasizes the empowerment of medical staff with theoretical knowledge and practical tools that will help the patients make a change and manage their own health.
Physicians have a lot of influence over their patients' health behaviors. Research has shown that the more physicians advise their patients regarding healthy lifestyle, the chance a lifestyle change will occur increases. In addition, it was found that physicians may serve as efficient role models for healthy life style behaviors. They influence patients' behaviors by adopting healthy habits and communicating them to their patients.
In order to encourage family physicians to lead a healthy lifestyle and influence their patients accordingly, the Society has established courses for residents and specialists in family medicine, and has been an active participant in conferences held by the Israel Association of Family Medicine and around the world.
Thanks to the experience that has been acquired, the members of the committee together with other experts have created a syllabus for teaching lifestyle medicine that has been acknowledged by the Israeli Medical Association. The syllabus was translated into English and was published in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, which the Society is a member of. This is a novelty since up until now an academic syllabus for teaching lifestyle medicine was not available.
Additional activities of the Society include:
• Physician's health – developing a program designed to promote physicians' health based on worldwide acquired knowledge, and suited for the needs of physicians in Israel.
• Training and creation of a supportive framework for family physicians that will become motivational interview trainers.
• Developing and leading trainings for "healthy lifestyle clinical coaches", with the understanding that a professional clinical coach is required alongside the family physician.
• Leading research and publication of articles addressing the core domains of lifestyle medicine in the local and international scientific media.
You are most welcome to become a member of the Lifestyle Medicine Society and to participate in the various activities offered in order to promote your patients' and your own health.