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Even modest sustained lifestyle changes can substantially reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Because many of the beneficial effects of lifestyle changes accrue over time, long-term adherence maximizes individual and population benefits. Interventions targeting dietary patterns, weight reduction, and new PA habits often result in impressive rates of initial behavior changes, but frequently are not translated into long-term behavioral maintenance. Both adoption and maintenance of new cardiovascular risk-reducing behaviors pose challenges for many individuals. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy could increase by almost 7 years if all forms of major CVD were eliminated.5 Improvements in morbidity and quality of life would also be substantial. In order to achieve these goals, healthcare providers must focus on reducing CVD risk factors such as overweight and obesity, poor dietary habits, and physical inactivity by helping individuals begin and maintain dietary and PA changes.

The purpose of this scientific statement is to provide evidence-based recommendations on implementing PA and dietary interventions among adult individuals, including adults of racial/ethnic minority and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. The most efficacious and effective strategies are summarized, and guidelines are provided to translate these strategies into practice. Individual, provider, and environmental factors that may influence the design of the interventions, as well as implications for policy and for future research, also are briefly addressed.


Cardiovascular Diseases | Nursing


This is the publisher's PDF version, originally appearing in Circulation 122, as referenced in the recommended citation