One of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) senior faculty has placed himself at the forefront of a global movement to combat the emerging epidemic of lifestyle-related chronic disease.
Dr Ravinder Mamtani, senior associate dean for population health, capacity building and student affairs at WCM-Q, is among a group of only 204 physicians worldwide who have become the very first medical professionals to be certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM)/the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine.
Lifestyle medicine is the use of evidence-based, therapeutic approaches to improve or maintain health, effected through positive lifestyle habits. These include a whole-food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and often even reverse chronic disease.
The ABLM was formed in the US in 2015 by a group of physicians who wanted to create a set of common standards and a common language for evidence-based lifestyle medicine, to differentiate it from non-evidence-based approaches and to set a benchmark of quality. To ensure practitioners meet these standards, ABLM/ACLM certification is based upon an exam, which Dr Mamtani took and passed in Tuscon, Arizona recently.
Dr Mamtani said, “All over the world, both rich and poor countries are struggling to cope with skyrocketing rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and certain forms of cancer. Lifestyle medicine approaches are an extremely effective way to combat these conditions as they address the causes, not just the symptoms.”
Studies suggest that lifestyle medicine is an effective way of addressing chronic illness that is often cheaper than conventional approaches, and that healthy lifestyle practices could prevent as much as 80% of chronic disease.
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