By Danmaryam Zayamu
The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health has been advised to set aside a day for the commemoration of the Healthy Lifestyle day to be celebrated annually in Nigeria.
The advice was contained in a communique issued by the Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg), at the end of its 2nd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, held in Abuja, recently.
The communique which was signed by the President and General Secretary of SOLONg, Dr Ifeoma Monye and Dr Mimi Osanwoyi, respectively, noted that the commemoration of the “Healthy Lifestyle Day” will help in raising awareness of healthy living as emphasised in the core pillars of Lifestyle Medicine across the country.
Lifestyle medicine, according to the communique, “is a branch of evidence-based medicine that employs healthy lifestyle practices (which include nutrition that is whole food and plant-based, regular physical activity/exercise, adequate night time restorative sleep, proper management of everyday stress, rest and relaxation, avoidance of the use of tobacco and other harmful substances, social support and connectedness, reduction in environmental toxins and pollutants) to prevent, treat and often times arrest and reverse the course of chronic lifestyle-related diseases by addressing their underlying root causes.”
SOLONg, in the communique called on governments at all levels to: “Sponsor and support health research in the area of Lifestyle medicine to provide statistics to prove the efficacy of Lifestyle medicine and foster lifestyle changes among Nigerians.
“Government at National and State levels should support the establishment of lifestyle medicine clinics in our hospitals to promote research and documentation of lifestyle medicine practices. This will ensure the further development of the specialty and effectively communicate the efficacy of the same.
“Heads of medical parastatals, institutions and departments should support the use of group consultations in the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases as there is evidence to prove that this improves health outcomes.
“Government at National and State levels should pay attention to the incessant pollution of our water bodies with dangerous items such as plastics to reduce environmental pollution.
“Lifestyle Medicine activities should be included into National Day programs, routine activities in government and organised private institutions/offices to provide health education and affordable means of positive healthcare practices to the public.
“Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg) should reach out to all stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health, to develop a National Diabetes Prevention Program.
“Government should invest in the development of Lifestyle Medicine as a panacea to huge healthcare costs in the contemporary society.”
SOLONg therefor applauded their both local and international partners and international lecturers including Dr John Kelly, Dr Dean Ornish, Dr Wayne Dysinger, Dr George Guthrie. Special appreciation to Dr Charles Cudjoe, Chairman Local Organising Committee and his team, all lecturers and presenters, sponsors, vendors, gentlemen of the Press and all invited guests for making the conference a great success.