Produce prescription programs could save the US at least $40 billion in medical bills. This is one of the outcomes of a report by Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy researchers. The new study was published June 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Their modeled implementation of a nationwide produce prescription program—which would provide free or discounted fruits and vegetables to eligible Americans living with diabetes —projected extensive reductions in national rates of cardiovascular disease and associated healthcare costs.
While produce prescriptions have definable benefits for health—for example, improving blood sugar control, body weight, and blood pressure levels—long-term national effects of this promising strategy, if fully implemented, had not previously been investigated.