The effects of lifestyle changes to diet, weight, physical condition and blood pressure

There is a growing influence of bad lifestyle and habits such as irregular (suboptimal) diet and lack of physical activity on the incidence of chronic diseases. It is now known bad way of life directly influences the occurrence of diseases such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and lipid levels, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. It is estimated that bad habits directly affect about 20% of deaths in America. In addition to improper diet, which consists of excessive calories, sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, inadequate intake of fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, a big problem is the lack of physical activity.

Because of the alarming data on the impact of poor lifestyle on the occurrence of chronic diseases was conducted scientific research on the effects of lifestyle changes to diet, weight, physical condition and blood pressure. The study was conducted in four US clinic for a period of 18 months. Observed is 810 generally healthy people aged 25 or over 25 years, who have had high blood pressure and BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 and 45.0. The observation does not take people who have used medication to reduce blood pressure or weight loss, and persons with a history of diabetes, angina or did they have some cardiovascular disorders. The studied were two ways of lifestyle changes ELR (established lifestyle recommendations) and ELR + DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), compared with only advice on lifestyle changes. ELR way lifestyle changes include weight loss, reduced sodium intake and alcohol and increase physical activity, ELR + DASH method consists also of a reduced fat intake and increased intake of fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Participants on ELR and ELR + DASH ways had 26 groups and 7 individual meetings, and the participants who received only advice had 2 single meeting.

The results showed that the high blood pressure in a group of ELR + DASH was less present than in the group that only received advice. Participants in the ELR and ELR + DASH group lost more weight than participant group who only received advice. Also ELR + DASH group showed a greater increase intake of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fiber, calcium, magnesium and folic acid and higher decrease of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol input, than the other two groups, while the ELR group showed greater reduction in caloric intake and fat than the group that received only advice.

From this scientific work is noticeable that only giving advice and adoption of knowledge in the filed of the change of lifestyle, without being rigid and reserve does not contribute to the reduction of blood pressure. Also proves to be a change of lifestyle, especially diet and physical activity contributes to reduce the blood pressure and the occurrence of chronic diseases that were associated with it.



[Elmer 2006], Elmer PJ, Obarzanek E, Vollmer WM, Simons-Morton D, Stevens VJ, Young DR, Lin PH, Champagne C, Harsha DW, Svetkey LP, Ard J, Brantley PJ, Proschan MA, Erlinger TP, Appel LJ. Effects of Comprehensive Lifestyle Modification on Diet, Weight, Physical Fitness, and Blood Pressure Control: 18-Month Results of a Randomized Trial. ACP J Club. 2006 Sep-Oct;145:42. doi:10.7326/ACPJC-2006-145-2-042

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