June 26, 2017 – Food Pharmacy


Anchor lead: Can prescribing food help people with diabetes? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you were prescribed healthy foods and brought to a pharmacy that provided them along with recipes and preparation methods, would that help you follow doctor’s orders? Yes, a study of people with type 2 diabetes found, concluding that such a strategy also improves blood markers for the disease. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Kalyani: The fundamental idea that prescribing fresh food that otherwise can be prohibitively costly , fresh foods are often more expensive than the processed foods, that if we can make these more accessible to patients they would actually enjoy eating them, they’d reap the benefits from a health perspective, and it could improve the economic cost incurred by diabetes.  :22

Kalyani: If you can prevent the complications from diabetes and do it in a way that is healthy for the patient with behaviors that are sustainable, we know that one of the greatest economic costs from diabetes are from the complications.  :14

The study found that each 1 point reduction in hemoglobin A1c, the standard way of monitoring long term blood sugar in diabetes, saved the healthcare system thousands of dollars. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.