Every day, doctors write prescriptions for medications that will treat various ailments in their patients. Those prescriptions, though, come once the patient is already sick.
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Now, a team of doctors and public health experts say that it’s time for adult Americans to receive food prescriptions as well, but on a national scale. A study released Wednesday in PLOS Medicine — “Cost-effectiveness of financial incentives for improving diet and health through Medicare and Medicaid” — provides compelling evidence for the distribution of food prescriptions and subsidies via Medicare and Medicaid, the largest U.S.
A team of researchers modeled the health and economic effects of healthy food prescriptions in Medicare and Medicaid. The study, published today in PLOS Medicine, finds that health insurance coverage to offset the cost of healthy food for Medicare and/or Medicaid participants would be highly cost-effective after five years and improve health outcomes.
Taxes on sugary beverages have been proposed—and adopted—across the United States as a way of reducing consumption of the sweet drinks, which has been linked to increased risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In prior studies, a hypothetical national tax of $.01 per ounce was estimated to result in more than $20 billion of savings in health-care costs over ten years.
A new Food-PRICE systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies, led by researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and published online today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, assessed the effectiveness of multiple types of food labels. The researchers found that these approaches can impact some targets, but not others, for both consumer and industry behavior.
Modifying the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to encourage better food choices could improve recipients’ health and cut billions of dollars in health care costs, according to researchers at Tufts and Harvard. The antihunger effort, once commonly known as the food stamp program, provides $70 billion each year for low-wage working families, low-income seniors, and disabled people to buy food, Tufts said in a statement.
Poor eating is a major cause of illness, especially from cardiometabolic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. These diseases generate large economic burdens for both government and private insurance programs. For individuals and their families, additional burdens come in the form of personal illness, out-of-pocket costs, reduced quality of life, and a shortened lifespan. These diet-related diseases and costs disproportionately affect low-income families in the United States.
Providing free fruits and vegetables and limiting sugary drinks in schools could have positive health effects in both the short- and long-term, finds a new Food-PRICE study led by researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
A new Food-PRICE study finds persistent nutritional disparities within the food choices of those receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) compared to those not receiving SNAP assistance. The study is published today in JAMA Network Open.