NEW Lifestyle: A downloadable teaching and learning program for Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight management

Publication ID Published Version
9256 October 24, 2012 1

Description (Nutrition, Exercise and Weight management) is a web-based teaching and learning program funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute (5R25 CA117887-02; ARRA 3R25CA117887-3S1) to the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. To conform to MedEdPortal submission standards, the website was converted to 8 downloadable educational modules. The program is designed to help students, educators and the public learn about weight management issues as they relate to health and to the compassionate delivery of health care.

Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States, with obesity now representing the second leading cause of preventable death. Current guidelines from the Association of American Medical Colleges urge medical schools to develop curricula on obesity related topics, including cancer. NEW Lifestyle's free educational modules were developed by interdisciplinary faculty at Wake Forest School of Medicine and cover the following subjects:

  1. Epidemiology of Obesity
  2. Obesity and Cancer Risk
  3. Health Effects of Obesity
  4. Energy Balance
  5. Lifestyle Strategies for Weight Loss
  6. Counseling Patients in Diet, Exercise, and Weight Management
  7. Obesity Bias and Stigmatization
  8. Treatment Guidelines: Drugs/Surgery

Modules play as PowerPoint presentations and include text, audio narration, figures, graphics, animations, and video. Each module has an associated pre- and post-quiz to enhance learning. Each module takes between 10-15 minutes to complete. The modules can be completed in any order as each module is a stand-alone educational activity. All eight modules have been successfully implemented and evaluated among medical students in all four years at Wake Forest.

Educators from other medical schools and disciplines are welcome to use these modules as well. Educators can utilize them alone or as an extension to existing courses. To enhance learning, we encourage completion of the pre- and post-quiz with each module. We suggest only supplying the answer key to the post-quizzes to encourage the learners to look for the pre-quiz answers within the module.

Unique aspects of this program are its emphasis on confronting anti-obesity bias among health care providers and training medical students in culturally sensitive weight management counseling. Materials within this program also draw attention to the connection of cancer to poor nutrition, physical inactivity and excess weight—and how cancer risk can be lowered by making modifications to behavior.


Miller D, Crandall S, Davis S, Ip E, Jamback G, Burns C, Kronner D, Marion G, Spangler J, Vaden K, Vernon J, Vitolins M. NEW Lifestyle: A downloadable teaching and learning program for Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight management. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by July 18, 2015

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

1. Epidemiology of Obesity

  • Define body mass index, overweight and obesity.
  • Describe national patterns of obesity over time.
  • Describe weight management disparities among different racial and ethnic groups.
  • Recall some cultural beliefs and attitudes about body image. 

2. Obesity and Cancer Risk

  • Discuss the association of obesity with specific cancers.
  • Describe the association of specific dietary factors with cancer risk.
  • Explain how physical activity reduces cancer risk. 

3. Health Effects of Obesity

  • Describe the major metabolic effects of adipose tissue byproducts.
  • List end-organs and tissues most directly affected by obesity.
  • Describe how obesity promotes carcinogenesis.
  • Link obesity to cancers.
  • Describe specific mechanical effects of obesity. 

4. Energy Balance

  • Explain how energy balance relates to body weight.
  • Discuss hormones that impact appetite. 

5. Lifestyle Strategies for Weight Loss

  • List environmental changes that have negative impact on body weight.
  • Describe the four basic categories of diets used to lose weight.
  • State the formula to achieve weight loss.
  • Describe recommendations for physical activity. 

6. Counseling Patients in Diet, Exercise and Weight Management

  • Set the agenda for your patient’s visit.
  • Create the opportunity to talk about diet, exercise and weight with your patient.
  • Assess your patient’s readiness to make weight-related behavioral changes.
  • Use stage-matched counseling strategies to move your patients closer to making behavioral changes.
  • Help your patients establish goals for diet, exercise and weight. 

7. Obesity Bias and Stigmatization

  • Describe obesity bias extent and stigmatization in society.
  • Explore body image concepts by age, race and ethnicity.
  • Define obesity as a health disparity.
  • Characterize explicit and implicit obesity bias. 

8. Treatment Guidelines: Drugs/Surgery

  • Describe weight assessment and classification.
  • Explain how risk stratification determines possible therapies for the treatment of obesity.
  • State the basic principles of lifestyle management.
  • Name the indications and possible complications of pharmacologic and surgical interventions.


  • Obesity (MeSH), Weight Management, Exercise (MeSH), Overweight, Cancer, Body Mass Index, Body Image


  • Medical
    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Preventive Medicine
      • Public Health


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
  • Professionalism

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Cultural Diversity/Cultural Competency
  • Nutrition
  • Physician-Patient Relationship
  • Professionalism

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
  • Independent Learning

Organ Systems

  • Endocrine system

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Biostatistics & Epidemiology
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident


  • Multimedia
  • Presentation

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ISSN 2374-8265