When it comes to nutrition and exercise, there is no shortage of fads. But the facts remain the same: most of what makes us healthy results from the choices we make each day. Patients with access to primary care can get ongoing, fact-based guidance about their nutrition and exercise—and the support they need to create life-long, health habits.
Focus on Fitness and Nutrition
Primary care can improve patient health and includes the promotion of physical activity and a healthy diet.¹ Evidence shows that obesity is less prevalent in communities with a higher ratio of primary care physicians.¹ Access to primary care can help patients:
- Learn to make healthy food choices: Learn what foods are best for your body, especially if you have a medical problem or other risk factors.
- Create a custom fitness program: Ask your doctor to write a “prescription” for your exercise program that describes what type of exercise to do, how often to exercise, and for how long.
- Achieve health and fitness goals: Build a plan to get in shape and improve your overall health in a safe, efficient way.
 Starfield, B., Shi, L., Macinko, J. “Contribution of Primary Care to Health Systems and Health.” The Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 3, 2005 (pp. 457–502). Available at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/Starfield_Milbank.pdf. Accessed 12/9/14.
All other information sourced from FamilyDoctor.org, a resource operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
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