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[FOOD AS MEDICINE] Healthy Food Rx brings diabetes benefits: Study

A study of Abbott's  Healthy Food Rx, a food-as-medicine program that provides home-delivered medical prescriptions of healthy food to help address diabetes, showed clinically important benefits for recipients. The real-world study, which was conducted by the Public Health Institute's Center for Wellness and Nutrition (PHI CWN) in an active community clinic over a 12-month period, found that Healthy Food Rx participants had lower A1C levels, improved diabetes self-management, and improved overall diet quality and food security. Full results with specific data are in the study.

The Healthy Food Rx program is part of Abbott's Future Well Communities, which is a multi-year initiative aimed to advance health access and equity by removing the barriers that prevent people with diabetes from living healthy lives. Abbott partnered with PHI CWN to design and implement Healthy Food Rx with Stockton, California-based organizations, with support from the Abbott Fund. Community Medical Centers (CMC), a local federally qualified health center in Stockton, identified potential Healthy Food Rx participants.

Program participants received food boxes from the Emergency Food Bank Stockton/San Joaquin (EFB), delivered directly to their home every other week for one year. The boxes included ingredients for a family-sized healthy meal with vegetables and fruits, as well as pantry staples such as beans, rice and nuts. The box also contained a recipe card and link to an optional online cooking class with EFB, which provided additional guidance and diabetes education.

All participants were invited to participate in the research study coordinated by PHI CWN, which included surveys at enrollment and at six and 12 months, in addition to capturing lab-verified glycated hemoglobin A1C values from medical records. Based on the initial results, Abbott and the Abbott Fund are working with partners to expand the program, targeting an additional 1,000 people by the end of the year.

To learn more and download the full study, click here

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