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Healthful Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults: Behavioral Counseling

Release Date: June 2012

This topic is in the process of being updated. Please go to the Update in Progress section to see the latest documents available.

Recommendation Summary

Summary of Recommendation and Evidence

(What's This?)
General adult population without a known diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or cardiovascular disease.

Although the correlation among healthful diet, physical activity, and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is strong, existing evidence indicates that the health benefit of initiating behavioral counseling in the primary care setting to promote a healthful diet and physical activity is small. Clinicians may choose to selectively counsel patients rather than incorporate counseling into the care of all adults in the general population.

The USPSTF recommends against routinely providing the service. There may be considerations that support providing the service in an individual patient. There is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small.

Considerations: Issues to consider include other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a patient's readiness for change, social support and community resources that support behavioral change, and other health care and preventive service priorities.

Potential Harms: Harms may include the lost opportunity to provide other services that have a greater health effect.

Clinical Summary

Clinical summaries are one-page documents that provide guidance to primary care clinicians for using recommendations in practice.

This summary is intended for use by primary care clinicians.

Current as of: July 2015

Internet Citation: Final Update Summary: Healthful Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults: Behavioral Counseling. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. July 2015.

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