Dr. George Guthrie, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), raised a concern that often accompanies any trending topic or idea: namely the definition of popular terms.  In his ACLM president’s report, Dr. Guthrie catalogs the history of the term.

  1. 1988 – 1989 Ernst Wynder, an epidemiologist, first used the phrase Lifestyle Medicine in a discussion of the effects of smoking on lung cancer risk, according to Dr. Guthrie, around 1988, nearly 30 years ago.  A year later,  Wynder used it in a symposium title.  Contemporary to Wynder was Hans Diehl, the founder of the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP), who unsuccessfully sought to copyright the term in the U.S.
  2. 1999 – James Rippe published the first book with the title Lifestyle Medicine  in the United States.
  3. 2007 Gary Egger, A Binns & S Rossner published a work with the title, “An Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine” in Australia.
  4. 2018 January.  As of this month, Dr. Guthrie proposes that there are 239 references to the phrase within PubMed.

As Dr. Guthrie suggests, the phrase and concept has blossomed into the mainstream consciousness of universities, primary health care clinics, and others in order describe their own “nuanced brand of non-allopathic medicine.”  Nevertheless, as alluded to earlier, trendy topics can become fuzzy quickly and go the “buzzword” route as leadership has.  ACLM seeks to provide a clear definition for providers as well as the general public.  ACLM defines lifestyle medicine as the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse lifestyle-related, chronic disease that’s all too prevalent.”

According to Dr. Guthrie, Lifestyle Medicine is the fastest growing area of medicine, and The New Life is right at the heart of this trend with our New Life Challenge program, Diabetes Undone, and our forthcoming fitness center & plant-based meal delivery service.  We are delighted to hear of the growth of ACLM.  It is a symbol that hope is being restored to countless lives weighed down by entirely preventable and reversible conditions, for he who has health has hope.


Source: ACLM President Report