Fruit and vegetable "prescriptions" linked to better health and less food insecurity, study finds

August 29, 2023
Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil

Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil

"Prescribing" fruits and vegetables to adults and children is associated with increased consumption of these foods and multiple health benefits, according to a new study.

The analysis, published in the American Heart Association's peer-reviewed journal Circulation, looked at people at increased risk for cardiovascular disease who participated in produce prescription programs for an average of six months, and found they increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables. This shift was associated with improved body mass index, blood sugar and blood pressure levels, researchers found, as well as a decrease in food insecurity.

"Poor nutrition and nutrition insecurity are major drivers of chronic disease globally, including cardiometabolic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and their cardiovascular consequences, including heart failure, heart attack and stroke," Dr. Mitchell Elkind, chief clinical science officer of the American Heart Association and a tenured professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University, said in a news release. "This analysis of produce prescription programs illustrates the potential of subsidized produce prescriptions to increase consumption of nutritious fruits and vegetables, reduce food insecurity and, hopefully, improve subjective and objective health measures." [read more]

Source: CBS News

Also covered by: The Washington Post