Lifestyle choices that include poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity are key contributors to the development of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Furthermore, these two lifestyle choices – in addition to tobacco use – account for 40 percent of all health care expenses in the United States.
Cleveland Clinic’s innovative Lifestyle 180 program was designed to halt or reverse the effects of several common chronic diseases by teaching lifestyle changes through stress management, yoga, nutrition, exercise and hands-on cooking instruction. The program accepts patients with metabolic disorders (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and diabetes), active surveillance breast and prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and fatty liver disease (NASH).
Lifestyle 180 is a year-long program consisting of 18 sessions conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The program begins with a six-week immersion phase consisting of twice-weekly four-hour group sessions. The remaining six sessions occur at periodic intervals throughout the year.
The Lifestyle 180 pilot class was launched in October 2008. Since then, more than 300 participants have successfully completed the program. Preliminary outcomes show that patients experience a decrease in LDL and insulin levels, and waist circumference. In addition, many patients have experienced a significant reduction in medications, an increase in mobility and energy, improved stress management skills, and an overall adoption of healthier habits including increased exercise and physical activity, healthy cooking, relaxation and healthy food choices.
Another unexpected but significant outcome of Lifestyle 180 is the “multiplier effect.” Participants in the program are taking the skills learned back to their spouses, children, family, and friends which is improving the health of others as well.
Keywords: care team, chronic care, chronic disease, coordinated care, Cleveland Clinic, Lifestyle 180, prevention, lifestyle, Ohio, wellness
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