“Prescribing Fruits and Vegetables Improves Health and Reduces Food Insecurity, Study Finds”
– Study shows that participating in produce prescription programs leads to increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and improved health outcomes
– The analysis highlights the potential of subsidized produce prescriptions to combat chronic diseases and decrease food insecurity
In produce prescription programs, patients receive electronic cards or vouchers to access free or discounted produce at grocery stores or farmers’ markets. This study, which included over 3,800 participants across nine programs, found that adults increased their fruit and vegetable intake by nearly one cup per day, while children increased their intake by about a quarter cup per day. Additionally, participants experienced improvements in body mass index, blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, and a decrease in food insecurity.
Dr. Mitchell Elkind of the American Heart Association emphasized the importance of nutrition in preventing chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes. He noted that future research should include randomized controlled trials to further validate the benefits of produce prescription programs. The American Heart Association’s new Food Is Medicine Initiative aims to support such trials.
This study highlights the potential of produce prescriptions as a tool to improve health outcomes and reduce food insecurity. By providing access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, these programs can have a significant impact on individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.