Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rx for an apple

An apple a day ... well, you know the rest. But what if the doctor did not stay away, but instead wrote a prescription for that fruit?

US food banks are promoting "food as medicine."

One-third of food banks are feeding someone with diabetes and 58% of the user families include someone with high blood pressure (according to Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks).

Carla K. Johnson, Associated Press, wrote about this. The Oak Forest Health Center in Illinois, among others, hosts "Fresh Truck" visits, providing more than 100,000 fresh fruits and veggies to more than 3,200 households.

Thirty food banks work with health care providers to identify low-income patients who sometimes run out of food.

---Doctors in Idaho add small food pantries to their offices.

--In Delaware, pediatricians write prescriptions for fresh produce--a family can get up to 25 lbs a month.

--Two hospitals in Alabama and Florida offered free lunches during the summer to kids with relatives in the hospital.

Although nutritious food also costs food banks more, people are trying to figure out solutions. Some don't accept soda and sweets.

They are also doing studies on whether food banks can help people improve their blood sugar levels--results expected in 2018.

Instead of "take two aspirin and call me in the morning," we may get "Eat a salad and never call me."

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