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Food as Medicine Pays Off in Pennsylvania


Food as MedicineFood as Medicine

The Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Food as Medicine is certainly not a new idea but it has been absent in most American lives. With proper nutrition many chronic diseases, like diabetes, can be brought under control. Food as Medicine is not “sexy” like a new pharmaceutical cure. However, it produces results and improves lives.

Not long ago, complications from type 2 diabetes caused Tom Shicowich to lose a toe, a month of his life in the hospital and rehab, and his savings.

But today, Tom is doing much better. He’s lost 45 pounds, and his blood pressure and blood sugar have dropped so much he may soon be able to get off his medications. He’s able to enjoy a walk with his girlfriend and climb stairs more easily.

Tom’s improvement didn’t come from a new surgical intervention or wonder drug. He credits his turnaround to the help he received as part of Geisinger’s Fresh Food Pharmacy program.

The knowledge that a better diet can improve the outcome for those with type 2 diabetes is not new. But a health system giving food to folks outside the walls of the hospital may be revolutionary and long overdue.

Source: Food as Medicine Pays Off in Pennsylvania

Food Deserts

US Food Deserts

Not desserts, the sweets we get when we finish our meals. Deserts. That’s right. There are areas of the US where “real” food is scarce. Residents are more likely to consume processed chips and sugar-laden fruit drinks instead of real food like potatoes and fruit. Without access and awareness, food deserts will continue to rob residents of vital nutrition.

Luckily, there is more attention and a growing number of options for America’s “food insecure” population. Geisinger’s Fresh Food Pharmacy program is one such new option. We hope its success continues and grows. Another option is home delivery through services like Amazon (which now owns WholeFoods and is reducing their prices). As the US continues to transform healthcare, by design or by necessity, there will be more efforts to address non-clinical determinants of health.

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