Category Archives: Behavior change

Supportive environments a key factor in successful smoking cessation

According to Carla Berg, professor in the Rollins School of Public Health and a member of Winship’s Cancer Prevention and Control program smoking cessation is more likely to succeed when an individual is provided social support. Critical to maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle is a positive outlook on success reinforced by family and friends, rather than negative complaints about smoking behaviors and nagging about the problem.

An interview with Dr. Berg and additional information about behaviors that promote smoking cessation is available through the Emory News Center.

American Heart Month: The Importance of Exercise

Emory cardiologist Nanette Wenger explains the benefits of exercising for your health, and the consequences that can ensue when exercise is not prioritized in this video published by CNN in honor of American Heart Month:

Mindful eating as food for thought

Mindfulness meditation practices have been shown effective for improving outcomes for cancer patients undergoing other aggressive medication-based treatments, and has recently been promoted as a method for controlling diet.

The concept is being researched at universities across the US, with Dr. Lilian Cheung, a Harvard nutritionist, promoting mindfulness eating as a way to provide relief from hectic schedules and a way to reconnect with food.

A description of mindfulness eating and current research is available through the New York Times.

US adopts new school lunch program policies to target obesity

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Michelle Obama announced changes to government-subsidized school meals that are part of the Obama administration’s effort to reduce obesity among youth by promoting improved nutrition and exercise habits.

Key aspects of the new requirements include: doubling daily servings of fruits and vegetables, serving only whole grains, milk must be low fat, and salt and trans fat maximums.

For more information, you can read the new rules or the New York Times article which includes a more detailed summary and interviews with key government and food industry leaders.

A New Year’s resolution to diet? Emory cardiologist helps rank top diets

It’s common for many of us to make a New Year’s resolution about diet and fitness… but how do we know which diet is the right one for us? Emory Heart and Vascular Center cardiologist Laurence Sperling, MD served on a U.S. News & World Report panel evaluating some of the USA’s most popular diets. Learn more about this report at the Emory Health Now blog.

Emory Study Finds that Lifestyle Intervention Programs Pose a Significant Means for Reducing Diabetes Progression

The January issue of Health Affairs features findings from an Emory University assessment of the effectiveness of real-world lifestyle interventions to help delay or prevent the costly chronic disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans.

The Emory team’s research found that weight loss was a primary intervention associated with reducing the progression to full blown type 2 diabetes, and concluded that the costs associated with diabetes prevention can be reduced without sacrificing effectiveness and that a focus on motivating participation in a structured lifestyle intervention program was the key driver of success in achieving the weight loss.

To learn more about the findings, we recommend reading How Effective Were Lifestyle Interventions In Real-World Settings That Were Modeled On The Diabetes Prevention Program?

Health Tip: 3 Simple, Effective Tips for a Healthier 2012

Lisa DuPree, a Predictive Health Educator, offers some great health advice for the new year! Visit this link at the Emory Center for Health Discovery and Well Being to read the full post.


“What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” Answered by Dr. Mike Evans

In a creative way, Dr. Mike Evans answers the question, “What is the single best thing we can do for our health?”. Dr. Evans, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto and physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, with an animation by Liisa Sorsa, says that exercise should be the first priority, with a goal of at least 30 minutes of activity per day. Dr. Evans draws on numerous findings both nationally and internationally that have highlighted the importance of physical activity for positive health changes. His primary message is simple: limit the number of hours you spend sitting and sleeping to 23 and 1/2, and use that final 30 minutes to benefit yourself.

Video Games Help Improve the Health of Kids with Cystic Fibrosis

Can you be healthy and have a genetic disease that causes mucous to build up in the lungs and the intestines to improperly absorb nutrients?  To a certain extent, the answer is yes.  Patients with Cystic Fibrosis can take steps to be in charge of their lives and improve daily functioning is by following strict daily regimes of medications and lung exercises that helps to expel the life-threatening mucous that develops as a result of the condition.

Compliance, however, is always an issue.  A paper presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting in April 2011 reported that treatment adherence improved in children aged 8-18 when their breathing therapies were conducted using digital spirometers that were adapted to act as the “controller” for a video game.  For more information, an interview with the study directors is available through Science Daily at