Weight loss versus behavioral change as the primary goal in clinical practice

Elizabeth Vaughan, Craig A. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical activity is a well-established lifestyle target that has shown considerable benefit in older adults. Findings from a subset population in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study revealed that changes in behavior (i.e., nonsmoking, physical activity) were superior to achieving numerical goals (i.e., waist circumference) to reduce the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality. This study provides strong evidence that health care providers should emphasize behavioral change and not set weight loss as the primary goal in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-274
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral change
  • Exercise capacity
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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