The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) just published new recommendations for overweight people with heart risks (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure). This even includes people that have pre diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels because diabetes is a high risk factor for developing heart disease as well.
From an article published by Reuters: “A literature review commissioned for the government-backed USPSTF, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that intensive behavioral counseling can help lower these patients’ risk for heart problems.
“My message for patients would be that we have the ability by changing our behavior to modify our risk for heart disease and stroke and your doctors can help you do that,” Dr. Michael L. LeFevre, the chair of the Task Force, told Reuters Health by phone.
LeFevre is also vice chair in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia.
The recommendations are targeted to health care providers more than to patients, LeFevre said.
To patients, he says, “The most important thing that we can do right now is have you lose some weight, be more active but just offering that advice and giving you a pamphlet, we don’t really find any evidence that that’s helpful.”
Instead, the Task Force review found, intensive behavioral counseling – involving multiple sessions with experts in nutrition and exercise over an extended period, for several months to a year – can help people lose weight and bring down their blood pressure and cholesterol.
The researchers reviewed 74 studies of various lifestyle interventions and found that with intensive counseling, many health markers were improved one and two years later, and the risk of diabetes decreased.”
So, what’s the big message? If you are overweight, obese, or have any risk factors for heart disease (including any risks for diabetes), you qualify for and are recommended to see a dietitian and fitness specialist. The research has shown this is the best way to stay healthy and prevent any complications from developing.
Good news is that Odom Health & Wellness offer nutrition counseling by a registered and licensed dietitian as well as medical fitness and personal training by a certified athletic trainer.