The 1st European Lifestyle Medicine Congress 

Kashmiri Doctor makes it big at Geneva, Switzerland congress

                       Compiled by Farooq Ahmad

A Kashmir based doctor presently working with Social and Preventive Medicine Department of Government Medical College, Srinagar, created history at the 2-day conference, at Geneva, Switzerland, where the trend was not in favor of technology but after his presentation with elaborating facts the perception regarding technology in healthcare changed and post the presentation a healthy discussion followed which ended with appreciation of the doctor’s hard work to categorize the new lifestyle medicine related technologies under new classification.

The 1st European Lifestyle Medicine Congress was intended to bring together the most prestigious European and International professionals with clinical expertise and scientific recognition to facilitate the spread and exchange of evidenced based knowledge, skills and attitudes, between experts, researchers, clinicians and trainees.

In relation this evolving branch of Medicine globally, the  Kashmiri doctor by the Dr.Rabbanie Tariq was invited to Geneva where leaders and pioneers across the world participated to exchange ideas and to improvise on this existing medicinal branch. Around 140 doctors from 33 countries all over the world participated and presented their research and innovations in Lifestyle Medicine. The congress was declared open by the Commissioner, Food Safety & Health for European Union who mentioned about the minutes of meeting taken place at the Ministerial meeting of G-20 and United Nations wherein the prevention of Non-communicable diseases would be prioritized in coming years. As per Dr. Rabbanie, “We need to remember that if Lifestyle is Medicine, Culture is the spoon & Technology is a tool to modify cultures.” Talking to Kashmir Canvas from Geneva, Dr Rabbanie added, ” By connecting the pieces of prevention using lifestyle data, it would empower providers & patients to make proactive healthcare choices.”  He further quoted during his speech at the Congress that Lifestyle Medicine Technology is growing and the global market for medical wearable devices is projected to reach $12.1 billion by 2021.

Globally, the health care has been overburdened, the policy makers like WHO are stuck amidst the fiasco of countries of diverse economies where in on one side the communicable diseases are making their way with outbreaks in the under developed and developing countries and on the other hand the developed and the developing countries are facing a double edged sword of both the infectious and chronic diseases. Developed Countries have shown remarkable achievements in controlling communicable diseases but on the other hand the diabesity and the obesity epidemic are continuously hitting down the health care progression in the country.  The primary causes of premature adult deaths in countries like India are related to unhealthy behaviors, such as tobacco use (18.1%) and poor diet and lack of physical activity (15.2%).These findings are widely accepted, and well-established chronic disease practice guidelines uniformly call for behavior change as the first line of prevention and management. However, physicians all over the globe often do not follow these recommendations.  A recent survey found that only 30% of US health professionals provided exercise counseling and lifestyle modification prescriptions during the prior 12 months. Barriers include lack of compensation, knowledge, time and resources. Other regions of the world like the Middle east have been suffering with chronic disease for over a decade now, on the other hand low and middle income countries like India, Pakistan suffer from a combo attack of communicable as well as Non communicable diseases. Around three-fifth population of India is rural and is vulnerable to all kind of infectious diseases due to lack of awareness and ultimately a poor lifestyle which was never communicated to them.

With the epidemiologicaltransition taking place all over the globe and evolution of lifestyle of all classes, the chronic diseases has had an upsurge.By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that two-thirds of all disease worldwide will be the result of lifestyle choices.Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have today become the primary health concern for most countries around the world. Currently, more than 36 million people worldwide die from NCDs each year, accounting for 63% of annual global deaths; most of which are preventable.

Against these problems, a wave has been created globally to fight with such problems. Research scholars and doctors all over the world came up with the solution of creating a new medicine to deal with chronic diseases. This new branch of medicine is known as Lifestyle Medicine. The Lifestyle Medicine physicians work at treating the underlying cause of disease and not just the disease markers and risk factors.Pills alone do not restore health. What will maximize healing is the application of scientifically sound lifestyle principles to both individual and community practice—thereby preventing or reversing the worst of our chronic disease burden  and Lifestyle Medicine Technology is the bridge between Lifestyle & medicine.

The doctor has been invited to attend events across the globe and speak about different topics. The doctor believes in revolutionizing the healthcare delivery from curative side to promotive as well as preventive side in Kashmir too and has already been working on such projects in Kashmir. The Congress culminated with the general assembly wherein it was decided that the ELMO would expand its approachability and intensify its work in Lifestyle Medicine.


What is Lifestyle Medicine?


Lifestyle Medicine is a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes (including nutrition, physical activity, psychological stress, social support and environmental exposures) are used to prevent, treat and even reverse the progression of chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes.

  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Mental health
  • Environment
  • Fertility and Sexual Health
  • Multimodal LM interventions
  • Genomics and Genetics
  • Sleep
  • Addictions
  • Public Health
  • Technological Innovations in LM
  • Molecular Biology

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