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Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight Management Lifestyle Intervention (NEW Lifestyle)

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Overweight and obesity are epidemic in the United States with over 2/3 of American adults having a body mass index of >25 kg/m.2 Obesity and physical inactivity represent the second leading cause of preventable death nationally from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. While physicians recognize the link between obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, there appears to be a lack of understanding about the etiologic role between obesity and cancer. World wide, overweight is the leading preventable cause of colon, breast, kidney (renal cell), esophagus (adenocarcinoma) and endometrial cancer deaths. Although physicians know they need to intervene among their obese patients, they often feel inadequately trained to do so despite the availability of evidence-based intervention guidelines for weight management. In addition, a significant amount of stigma is still attached to obesity in the population at large and among many medical professionals. While nutrition and, to a lesser extent, physical activity curricular materials have been developed for medical schools, education specifically linking obesity and cancer has received scant attention. Moreover, no culturally competent obesity educational models have been developed for the nation's medical schools, and no integrated obesity intervention curriculum exists. In an effort to fill the training gaps for this important cause of cancer and other adverse health outcomes, we propose the following specific aims:

1. Develop and implement a comprehensive, Web-based and culturally relevant curriculum-called the Nutrition, Exercise and Weight Management Lifestyle Intervention (NEW Lifestyle) Curriculum-for medical students to improve their knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to weight management, with additional focus on cancer. 1a. Pilot test the NEW Lifestyle curriculum skills in an internal medicine residency. 2. Evaluate the NEW Lifestyle intervention curriculum. 3. Disseminate the NEW Lifestyle curriculum to other medical schools.

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