Monday, August 26, 2013

Prescriptions for Fruits and Vegetables

A few weeks ago, New York City Deputy Major Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced a Fruit and Vegetable prescription program.  This allows doctors in and around New York City to prescribe fruit and vegetables to at-risk families.

More than 140 New York City farmers' markets are now accepting "health bucks" which have been prescribed to obese and overweight patients and their families.  The program provides patients $1 in health bucks for each day for each member of their family over a period of four months.  So for a family of four, they would get $120 in fruits and vegetables a month.

Each month patients check in with the doctor/hospital to have their prescriptions renewed and their weight and body mass index evaluated.  They also receive nutritional counseling.

The prescription program was started by Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that connects low-income people with local, farm fresh foods.  The program started at test sites in Massachusetts, Maine, California and Rhode Island.  It has now expanded to seven states.

Let's hope doctors use this program to its fullest and it spreads across all states. Money to buy healthy fruits and vegetables and also education on why it is important and how to cook with it.  Sounds great.


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