American Academy of Family Physicians Emphasizes Physician-reviewed Consumer Education Materials Through its Consumer Alliance Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 14, 2010
LEAWOOD, Kan. -- The American Academy of Family Physicians' Consumer Alliance Program continues to educate physicians and consumers about the role some products can play in a healthy, active lifestyle, through its award-winning, consumer health site -- FamilyDoctor.org and other program initiatives.
Increasingly a destination for patients and consumers seeking information on health questions, issues and concerns, FamilyDoctor.org (familydoctor.org)recently was named one of "Five Great Health Sites" on a Newsweek.com blog, and one of the "'Top Ten' Most Useful Web Sites" by the Medical Library Association. FamilyDoctor.org welcomes, on average, 3.5 million unique visitors each month.
"The Consumer Alliance Program helps fulfill the AAFP's objective of improving the health of the public, in that it allows new opportunities for excellent patient education through FamilyDoctor.org," said AAFP executive vice president and chief executive officer Douglas E. Henley, M.D.
While FamilyDoctor.org and the AAFP do not endorse any specific brand, product or service, the Consumer Alliance Program is an opportunity for FamilyDoctor.org and AAFP to collaborate with consumer products companies that share the common goal of informing consumers, as well as medical professionals, about new advances in product science, nutrition and best practices for good health and a balanced lifestyle.
The most recent AAFP Consumer Alliance partner is Nature Made dietary supplements, which is owned by Pharmavite LLC. As part of this program, Nature Made underwrote development of physician-reviewed consumer education content on vitamins, supplements, general health and heart health. (FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org))
"Generally the best way to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs is through a balanced and varied diet, but that is not always possible," Henley said.
Americans increasingly are using vitamins and dietary supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Nielsen Inc. Scantrack point-of-sale data indicates that use of vitamins, minerals and supplements by U.S. consumers increased 31 percent from 2005 to 2009.
With increased use of these products, comes an increased need for patient education to ensure their proper usage. As part of their counseling, physicians can now refer their patients to the educational materials on FamilyDoctor.org about the appropriate use of vitamins and supplements.
"We know that many of our patients already use vitamins and supplements," Henley said. "As family physicians, it is important that we counsel our patients on how to use these products properly, what vitamins and minerals they might not be getting enough of in their diet, and recommend appropriate dosages to resolve those deficiencies if they exist. It is also important to remind them that taking supplements does not replace the need to eat a healthy diet."
The AAFP is also proud to recognize Nature Made as a core supporter of its Americans In Motion -- Healthy Interventions program, an initiative designed to improve the health of all Americans by implementing a multifaceted fitness program addressing physical activity, nutrition and emotional well-being in the individual, family and community.
The AAFP maintains complete editorial control over the content developed for FamilyDoctor.org to ensure creation of balanced, evidence-based content that can help consumers make informed decisions. The content is reviewed extensively by family physician editors, members of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science and credentialed expert consultants.
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Nearly one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 228 million office visits each year -- nearly 83 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America's underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty.
About the AAFP Consumer Alliance
In addition to health care providers, AAFP recognizes that consumer products companies have significant influence over consumer health. Therefore, the Consumer Alliance is a strategy whereby AAFP aims to partner with companies who demonstrate good corporate stewardship and a strategic focus on consumer health.
FamilyDoctor.org, AAFP's consumer health and wellness resource, is the fundamental core of the AAFP Consumer Alliance. Through partnerships in the Consumer Alliance, AAFP will continue to expand the reach and breadth of its offerings on FamilyDoctor.org by adding more tools, trackers, videos, and consumer-friendly education materials on important health and wellness topics.
In addition to content development on FamilyDoctor.org, AAFP will work with Consumer Alliance Partners to develop robust new programs and materials to educate consumers and medical professionals about making better choices with regard to food and beverage selections, physical activity, emotional well-being, and other ways to achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
FamilyDoctor.org is an award-winning Web site that helps today’s consumers stay informed and engaged in their own health care management. It is the only consumer health Web site geared toward patients of all ages that is owned and operated by a professional medical association, the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Recommended to patients by AAFP member physicians and their health care teams, FamilyDoctor.org features guides for healthy living, prescription and over-the counter drug information, and interactive health tools that allow users to “search-by-symptom.” The site also offers more than 400 consumer health videos.
FamilyDoctor.org receives more than 3.5 million visits a month, with 100,000 unique visitors each day. More than 60 percent of Americans search for health information online. For reliable health information, they turn to www.FamilyDoctor.org.
About Pharmavite LLC
For almost 40 years, Pharmavite has earned and maintained the trust of healthcare professionals, consumers, and retailers by manufacturing high-quality vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements that are safe, effective and science-based. Nature Made vitamins is the number one supplement brand in the food, drug, club and mass channels. The dietary supplement industry is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as by government agencies in each of the 50 states. For more information, please visit Pharmavite.com(www.pharmavite.com) or NatureMade.com.(www.naturemade.com)