How physicians can help patients make healthy lifestyle changes in 2019

The American Medical Association says it wants to improve national U.S. health next year by creating ways to treat chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

It also suggests seven ways physicians can assist patients who need a nudge to make healthy lifestyle changes next year:

1. Physicians can educate patients about the link between nutrition and good health.

2. Physicians can learn to use "nudge theory" tools, such as email and text reminders, to boost patient medication adherence.  

3. Physicians can educate themselves more about how good nutrition can prevent hypertension so they'll feel comfortable discussing this with their patients.

4. Physicians can encourage patients to get routine blood pressure checks, especially black men, who are "often underrepresented in [hypertension] intervention trials."

5. Learning how to cook is important in enforcing lifestyle changes to better manage hypertension and other chronic diseases. New Orleans, La.-based Tulane University School of Medicine teaches  its students about nutrition and how to cook healthy meals.

6. To help patients boost their patients' physical activity, physicians can encourage friendly competition. More than half of U.S. adults aren't active enough and put themselves at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.

7. Physicians can recommend patients home cook low-calorie meals that are healthy for their diets, which can help manage chronic disease.

More articles on patient flow:

Americans in this region have longest travel time to a hospital
'Staffing situation' forces Baylor Scott & White hospital to suspend labor, delivery services
New Hampshire physician will probe why state's rural maternity care units are closing

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