Behavioral Interventions in Public Health Settings: Physical Activity, Weight Loss, and Smoking

Beth A. Lewis, Eric Statt, Bess H. Marcus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses three health behaviors that significantly impact public health. Specifically, physical activity behavior, weight loss, and smoking cessation are associated with many health benefits, including decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. These three health behaviors are important modifiable risk factors that can have a significant impact on health. Unfortunately, only half of Americans are physically active at the recommended levels. Additionally, 66.3% of Americans are overweight or obese. Finally, despite the health problems related to smoking, about one-fifth of Americans continue to smoke cigarettes. We provide an overview of the theoretical models commonly used in intervention studies and summarize the research evidence from randomized trials. Finally, we review three different intervention approaches for improving health behaviors, including an individual-level approach for physical activity, a community-level approach for weight loss, and a group-based approach for smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology
EditorsD. H. Barlow
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940202
ISBN (Print)9780195366884
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, 2014.


  • Cigarette use
  • Exercise
  • Interventions
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking cessation


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