Lifestyle Medicine Insider
April 2019 | First Edition
Welcome to the first edition of Lifestyle Medicine Insider, a periodic look into the political, industry and economic environment we face as an organization of Lifestyle Medicine pioneers under President Dexter Shurney’s priorities of policy, payment, partnerships and PR.
  • ACLM is close to finalizing an engagement with one of DC’s long-standing, most highly regarded advocacy consultancies to develop an advocacy strategy for Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of health and real health care reform. A strategic plan is being developed that will guide our organization in the areas of government relations, legislation and strategic partnerships to influence policy on behalf of our members.
In the meantime, ACLM has begun to insert its voice in the national discourse related to key issues:

  • ACLM President Dexter Shurney sent a letter to the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) in response to the Committee’s request for specific recommendations to help address America’s rising health care costs.

  • ACLM co-signed a letter of support for A.B. 479, the California Climate-Friendly Food Act that would increase access to healthy food and help California measurably reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the 540 million school lunches served in the state each year. It would also provide support for staff training and other technical assistance needed to help schools boost meal participation rates and successfully serve plant-based entree and milk options.
The frequency of national articles being published about Lifestyle Medicine continues to grow. Here are several recent ones you don't want to miss.

  • A recent Permanente Journal article breaks down the challenges of getting physicians to understand whole foot, plant-based diets in terms of time, training and economics. It mentions the role of ACLM in training.

  • Popular Science and other outlets just published an article based on research from Tufts showing subsidized fruits and vegetables could save billions in cost and also prevent millions of cases of cardiovascular disease.

  • The New York Times reported on a recent study published in The Lancet that concluded one-fifth of deaths around the world were associated with poor diets. The study was one of the largest surveys of data on global dietary habits and longevity.
  • Progress is being made in integrating Lifestyle Medicine curriculum into medical schools! The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) just published the results of its survey of schools on the amount of Lifestyle Medicine content in curriculum and our partners at LMEd provided a commentary. Of the 153 allopathic U.S. medical schools, 123 participated in the survey, and 111 (90%) documented LM education content taught in various forms. 

  • As far as the 55 accredited osteopathic medical schools, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) reports that for the current academic year, its survey data spreadsheet on 29 curriculum topics shows 95% of the 38 schools participating in the survey reported either having a required course, elective, or rotation in nutrition, community health and community for health promotion and disease prevention.
  • ACLM Corporate Roundtable partner Better Therapeutics published research showing reductions in blood pressure in adults with hypertension who used the company’s digital therapeutic product.

  • Commentary by former ACLM president Dr. David Katz and Lifestyle Medicine Economic Research Consortium (LMERC) director Micaela Karlsen, PhD, on the need for a new tool to evaluate scientific evidence in relation to Lifestyle Medicine questions was just published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Micaela Karlsen, PhD

  • A March 26, 2019, JAMA infographic, the “Sources of Increased Health Care Spending in the U.S.,” breaks down the nation’s current top five costliest diseases.

  • ACLM’s Lifestyle Medicine Economic Research Consortium (LMERC) is actively preparing position papers and commentary. Their website,, contains a useful repository of peer-reviewed research studies relevant in describing the financial impacts of chronic disease, the potential financial returns of lifestyle medicine interventions or health improvements and methods by which to measure and analyze such data. Check it out!
Eric L. Adams
Last summer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced the first-of-its-kind plant-based lifestyle medicine program out of Bellevue hospital. Also through his urging, the City invested $400,000 into a school pilot in which Brooklyn students start each week with a vegetarian option. Now, SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Committee on Plant-based Health & Nutrition includes a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, allied health professionals, educators, and community leaders dedicated to plant-based health in the borough of Brooklyn. In March, the Brooklyn program expanded to all 1.1 million students in New York City. The group has issued a position paper