Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk with Produce Prescriptions

The catchy phrase “Food is Medicine” has been popularized on social media. However, a recent study indicates that the concept may have some validity.

The study was published in Source on August 29, a peer-reviewed American Heart Association journal.

This is the largest study of its kind to date on produce prescriptions. The results show that increased vegetable consumption is linked to:

The findings also indicate that the prescription of produce led to a reduction in food security.

The study’s lead author, Kurt Hager, Ph., a lecturer at UMass Chan School of Medicine in Worcester, MA, said that “over 300,000 Americans per year die from cardiometabolic diseases like Diabetes and Heart Failure which are directly related to what they eat.”

Our study shows that prescriptions for produce can be an effective tool in the management of chronic diseases related to diet, especially among food-insecure people.

What is a ‘produce prescription’?

Low-income families are more likely to suffer from health inequities, including chronic diseases that are a result of poor diet. Produce prescriptions enable doctors to prescribe subsidized fruits and vegetables.

This study is not the first one to mention the possibility of producing prescriptions and medically tailored food.

Another Hager-led StudyTrusted Source in October 2022 indicated that medically tailored meals could reduce hospitalizations by up to 1.6 million. This would result in net savings of $13.6 Billion annually. Medically tailored meals, unlike the money-for-produce prescriptions evaluated in the latest study, are typically fully prepared and delivered to clients at home. They can also be customized to meet individual health needs.

Dr. Miller explained that there are certain amounts of sodium or carbohydrate that people with high blood pressure should consume. Daphne Miller is a family physician who also works as a science writer and clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco. She is also a research scientist at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.

Although there are differences, the concept is the same.

Miller explained that they were all described as “medically sourced foods.” The idea is that all of these foods are purchased in one form or another and prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Another 2022 study, Trusted Source, found that the integration of produce prescriptions into the healthcare system can improve health outcomes for individuals with low socioeconomic status.

Researchers have proposed, as in the present study, that an “eating-as medicine” approach, including producing prescriptions, can help reduce health disparities.

All three studies have noted that increased access to fruits and vegetables can lead to better health outcomes, both for children and adults. For example, individuals with diabetes are able to control their blood sugar levels more effectively.

Improve health and decrease food insecurity

Researchers in the new study assessed whether producing prescriptions can affect clinical outcomes through a partnership with the national nonprofit Wholesome Wave.

Researchers analyzed data from 3,881 participants in 12 states who were considered to be at a higher risk of heart disease. The researchers looked at data from 3,881 participants from 12 states. Of these, 2,064 adults were aged 18 or older, and the rest were children aged 2-17. Participants received a monthly median financial incentive of $63 for buying produce from local stores and farmer’s markets. They also attended nutrition classes.

The average program duration was six months. After the program, participants completed questionnaires on their food security and health status, as well as their produce consumption.

The participants also had routine blood pressure, height, and weight tests, as well as hemoglobinA1c (HbA1c), a test that measures the average glucose of a person over 3-6 months.

Researchers compared the outcomes of participants before and after the program.

The daily consumption of produce by adults increased by 0.85 cups, and that for children by 0.26 cups.

In both adult and pediatric participants, the likelihood of food insecurity decreased by one-third.

The self-reported status of health improved by more than two-thirds among adults and was nearly doubled in children.

Participants who started the program with an HbA1c greater than 6.5% saw their blood sugar levels drop.

The study found that adults with high blood pressure levels saw a decrease in both systolic (systolic pressure) and diastolic (diastolic pressure).

The BMI of adults decreased, but not that of children.

This modeling study shows that prescriptions for fruits and vegetables can increase the consumption of these foods and decrease food insecurity. Mitchell Elkind is the chief clinical science officer for the American Heart Association and a tenured Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University.

These prescriptions seem to improve both subjective and objective health measurements, such as blood pressure.

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