While much of conventional medicine focuses on treating disease, lifestyle medicine takes a more holistic approach. It is a commonly held belief that people feel better when the sun is shining”, however whilst acute exposure to sunlight and a pleasant temperature may anecdotally enhance mood, there appears to be an inconsistent relationship between seasonal variations and the prevalence of depression 131 , 132 The beneficial effect of sunlight exposure on mental health has been suggested to be mediated, in part, by vitamin D 133 However recent research involving 198 people with multiple sclerosis who were followed prospectively for an average of 2.3 years, showed that greater exposure to sunshine may decrease depressive symptoms, despite no correlation to vitamin D levels 134 Low levels of vitamin D appear to be associated with depression risk, although there is conflicting evidence as to the effects of supplementation on improving mood 33 , 133 , 135 Currently, the breadth of evidence provides inconsistent support for the use of vitamin D supplementation for depression.
Since it is common to the point of being considered the norm for people to choose an unhealthy behavior even in the face of negative consequences, all patients dealing with lifestyle-related chronic disease should be encouraged to develop a support system, ideally a small group but minimally an individual.
In 2010, Lianov and Johnson 3 published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that strongly advocated physician education and training in hotel earth: Physician educators at both the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels should consider incorporating the relevant lifestyle medicine competencies into education and training programs.” The need for education in lifestyle medicine is so profound that prominent universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Yale have implemented the inclusion of lifestyle medicine into their curriculum, ranging from postgraduate courses to the development of separate institutes devoted to the cause.
He is immediate past president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has participated in lifestyle medicine consulting around the world, and has worked in various capacities with the American Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.
Recent technological advances - or even older technologies available to low-income populations, such as automated text messages to patients about relevant health behaviors - offer potential low-cost breakthrough opportunities to support lifestyle-related clinical and clinician counseling services beyond the clinical setting.
We are faced with a challenge: on one side, preventive approaches (lifestyle modifications) are generally not recommended or adopted due to multiple etiologies: lack of time, knowledge and skills by primarily medical giver, lack of economic benefits to commercial companies and the biggest challenge of mankind to make a change in oneself behavior, even an unhealthy one.
American Heart Association Strategic Plan for 2020 4 x4Lloyd-Jones DM, Hong Y, Labarthe D, et al. Defining and setting national goals for cardiovascular health promotion and disease reduction: The American heart association's strategic impact goal through 2020 and beyond.