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Behaviour change: individual approaches

NICE public health guidance 49

This guidance makes recommendations on individual-level behaviour change interventions aimed at changing the behaviours that can damage people's health. It includes a range of approaches for people aged 16 and over, from single interventions delivered as the opportunity arises to planned, high intensity interventions that may take place over a number of sessions. The guidance aims to help tackle a range of behaviours including alcohol misuse, poor eating patterns, lack of physical activity, unsafe sexual behaviour and smoking. These behaviours are linked to health problems and chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer). This means interventions that help people change have considerable potential for improving health and wellbeing. This includes helping them to:

  • improve their diet and become more physically active
  • lose weight if they are overweight or obese
  • stop smoking
  • reduce their alcohol intake
  • practice safe sex to prevent unwanted pregnancies and a range of infectious diseases such as HIV and chlamydia.