Impact of produce prescriptions on diet

Produce prescriptions may improve cardiometabolic health by increasing fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and food insecurity. Impacts on clinical outcomes and health status have not been evaluated in large, multisite evaluations.

This multisite, pre- and post-evaluation used individual-level data from 22 produce prescription locations in 12 US states from 2014 to 2020. No programs were previously evaluated. The study included 3881 individuals (2064 adults aged 18+ years and 1817 children aged 2–17 years) with, or at risk for, poor cardiometabolic health recruited from clinics serving low-income neighborhoods. Programs provided financial incentives to purchase F&V at grocery stores or farmers markets (median, $63/months; duration, 4–10 months). Surveys assessed F&V intake, food security, and self-reported health; glycated hemoglobin, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and BMI z-score were measured at clinics. Adjusted, multilevel mixed models accounted for clustering by program.

After a median participation of 6.0 months, F&V intake increased by 0.85 (95% CI, 0.68–1.02) and 0.26 (95% CI, 0.06–0.45) cups per day among adults and children, respectively. The odds of being food insecure dropped by one-third (odds ratio, 0.63 [0.52–0.76]) and odds of improving 1 level in self-reported health status increased for adults (odds ratio, 1.62 [1.30–2.02]) and children (odds ratio, 2.37 [1.70–3.31]). Among adults with glycated hemoglobin ≥6.5%, glycated hemoglobin declined by −0.29% age points (−0.42 to −0.16); among adults with hypertension, systolic and diastolic blood pressures declined by −8.38 mm Hg (−10.13 to −6.62) and −4.94 mm Hg (−5.96 to −3.92); and among adults with overweight or obesity, BMI decreased by −0.36 kg/m2 (−0.64 to −0.09). Child BMI z-score did not change −0.01 (−0.06 to 0.04).

In this large, multisite evaluation, produce prescriptions were associated with significant improvements in F&V intake, food security, and health status for adults and children, and clinically relevant improvements in glycated hemoglobin, blood pressure, and BMI for adults with poor cardiometabolic health.

Source: AHA Journals

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.