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ACE Supports Behavior-Change Counseling

In an effort to improve the health of U.S. citizens, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force—a volunteer panel of experts established by Congress—has recommended implementing behavior-change counseling for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. In August, ACE released a statement supporting that recommendation.

The USPSTF report, which specifically lists “exercise professionals, dietitians, nutritionists and physiotherapists” as being qualified to assist with such interventions, is based on several studies in which counseling interventions proved beneficial for individuals with CVD risk factors.

“The Task Force recommendations represent a significant milestone for the professionals [whom] ACE educates, certifies and supports,” said Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, FAAP, ACE senior advisor for healthcare solutions, in a press release. “For the first time, an independent national recommending authority has named properly trained exercise professionals among the professions qualified to deliver behavior-change programming, which includes structured, supervised physical activity, as part of the healthcare system.”

Previously, the USPSTF’s recommended interventions were focused on counseling aimed at improving dietary intake. This updated report states that counseling to improve dietary habits, to increase physical activity or to bring about a combination of both should be implemented for optimal health improvements.

“This serves as yet more evidence of the increasing recognition within primary care and preventive medicine of the capacity of lifestyle interventions, including structured physical-activity programming, to help those at increased risk for cardiovascular disease—the leading cause of death in the U.S,” Muth added. “The system must more adequately provide patients access to solutions that empower them to make sustainable lifestyle modifications.”

Learn more about the USPSTF report here: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsdiet.htm.

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