HealthDay News – In order to curb cardiovascular disease in high-risk overweight and obese patients, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has drafted a recommendation outlining the benefits of intensive behavioral counseling interventions.

“The CDC estimates that nearly half of all U.S. adults age 20 years and older have at least one of the following CVD risk factors: uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled elevated LDL, or current smoking,” wrote Jennifer S. Lin, MD, and colleagues. “The CDC also estimates that nearly 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.”

After conducting a systematic review including data from 74 studies and 57 meta-analyses to examine the benefits and harms of behavioral counseling interventions promoting healthy diets and physical activity, researchers found that intensive behavioral counseling had a moderate benefit on decreasing cardiovascular risk in patients.

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Improvements in body mass index, blood pressure, lipids, fasting glucose, and participation in physical activity were benefits linked to intensive therapy. Adequate evidence was found to suggest that the harms of behavioral counseling interventions were small to none.

“Linkages between primary care practices and community resources have the potential to increase the effectiveness of interventions,” commented the researchers. “All individuals, regardless of their risk of heart disease can realize the health benefits of improved nutrition, healthy eating behaviors, and increased physical activity.”

The USPSTF is taking comment on this draft recommendation until June 9, 2014.


  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 2014. Draft recommendation statement. Retrieved from: