Categorized | National News

Can A ‘Prescription’ For Free Fruits And Vegetables improve health? Study After Study Say Yes

f doctors prescribed fruits and vegetables like medicine, could people improve their health through diet alone? That’s the theory behind a growing number of programs in the U.S. that deliver free produce.

These so-called produce prescription programs aim to combat heart problems and obesity-related diseases by either preparing free bundles of fruits and veggies for participants to pick up on a regular schedule, delivering fresh batches of produce to people’s homes or giving them money to buy produce.

Carol Grand, a 63-year-old retiree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, joined one such program in late 2022 after she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her doctor prescribed her medication, she said, but she didn’t want to rely on it forever.

“I said, ‘Well, this can’t possibly be the way I’m going to live my life,’” Grand said. “If there was another alternative, then I was there for it.”

Grand signed up for FreshRx Oklahoma, a nonprofit food prescription service for people with diabetes. The yearlong program distributes bags of locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with recipes, every two weeks. Participants also receive free health screenings every quarter.

Grand said her blood sugar dropped to nondiabetic levels and she lost 50 pounds.

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