People at increased risk for cardiovascular disease who participated in produce prescription programs increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables, which was associated with improved body mass index (BMI), blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as a decrease in food insecurity. This new research was published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a peer-reviewed American Heart Association journal.
Produce prescription programs enable doctors to prescribe fruits and vegetables in addition to medications. Patients receive electronic cards or vouchers to access free or discounted produce of their choice at retail grocery or farmers’ markets, explained study lead author Kurt Hager, Ph.D., M.S., an instructor at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Although previous research has examined the effects of small, individual produce prescription programs, this analysis is believed to be the largest produce prescription study by pooling data from nine programs across the U.S. to assess health outcomes after about six months.
News-Medical’s recent coverage reveals a promising connection between “produce prescriptions” and improved health outcomes among individuals susceptible to cardiovascular disease. The study showcased the potential of such interventions to address health disparities and enhance overall well-being.
The research explored the impact of “produce prescriptions,” where healthcare providers “prescribe” fresh fruits and vegetables to patients at risk of cardiovascular issues. The results exhibited a positive correlation between these prescriptions and better health outcomes, including reduced blood pressure and improved dietary habits.
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