Adherence to a healthy balanced diet and physical activity are essential components for the management and reversal of chronic disease. First Line Therapy (FLT) implements lifestyle modification and health coaching techniques while utilizing this framework over a twelve-week period. This research investigates the effect of dietary and lifestyle modifications on 3 voluntary FLT program participants of low socioeconomic status diagnosed with various chronic diseases. The cases highlight varied patient successes including: patient compliance with program completion, patient noncompliance with partial program completion, and patient noncompliance with program cessation. Throughout the program, clients were analyzed through Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) as part of their nutritional assessment. The patient who completed the program experienced a weight loss of 13.0 lb, a fat loss of 3.2 lbs and a BMI decrease of 1.9 kg/m². The two patients who did not complete the 12 week program experienced no measurable improvement. Factors influencing program compliance and completion include social support systems, financial means, and subjective stressors. This study concludes that completion of a full 12 week lifestyle modification program produces measurable results within an underserved population and are evidence that the field of lifestyle medicine intervention programs are of increasing importance in a local clinical setting.
The incidence of chronic disease in the United States is largely preventable. Widespread studies support the implementation of physical activity, balanced nutrition and stress management in the prevention and reversal of such conditions 1,2,3,4. In spite of this knowledge, there is a lack of application and implementation of lifestyle interventions to corresponding high-risk populations. The Joseph F. Sullivan Center (JFSC), in Clemson, SC, specifically targets clients from the South Carolina Upstate for lifestyle modification intervention in response to this demand.
First Line Therapy (FLT) is an evidenced based, professionally supervised, personalized lifestyle modification program. FLT targets three major components: dietary management, stress management, and regular exercise. This program promotes healthy body composition and ultimately modifies risks and effects from chronic conditions. Continued implementation and improvement upon the FLT program with the underserved adult population in upstate South Carolina will improve the health status of this group, reinforce healthier behaviors passed down to subsequent generations, and decrease disease exacerbation related costs to the state and to taxpayers.
Through analysis of various patient successes, the group aimed to determine if a twelve-week lifestyle medicine intervention program produces measureable and sustainable improvements in the prevention of chronic disease within an underserved population. Additionally, the group identifies variables to improve success rates in future patients.
This research concludes that the success of a twelve-week lifestyle modification program is largely grounded in the creation of personalized plans, financial access to healthy options, and experienced improvement. A twelve-week program produces measurable results when compliance carries throughout the program duration.
This research highlights a need for future implementation to focus on a continuation of personalized goals. Future research should aim to explore the inclusion of supplements into a dietary plan and its influence on results as well as methods to make access to healthy options more feasible within an underserved population.