The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for overweight and obese adults with additional cardiovascular disease risk factors (Grade B recommendation).

This draft recommendation statement is based on an evidence review published by the USPSTF.

Jennifer S. Lin, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the benefits and harms of behavioral counseling interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease among those with established risk factors. Data were included from 74 studies, and 57 meta-analyses were conducted on 71 trials.

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The researchers found that intensive behavioral counseling had a moderate benefit on risk for cardiovascular disease, including improvements in body mass index, blood pressure, lipids, fasting glucose, and participation in physical activity for overweight or obese adults at increased risk.

Adequate evidence was found to suggest that the harms of behavioral counseling interventions were small to none. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, which is available for comment from May 13 to June 9.

“All individuals, regardless of their risk of heart disease can realize the health benefits of improved nutrition, healthy eating behaviors, and increased physical activity,” Task Force member Mark Ebell, MD, said in a statement.