“One of the best solutions to rising obesity and non-communicable disease rates lie in primary care. Medical professionals can influence the U.S. food system indirectly through demand and collective purchasing power by educating their patients to choose and purchase healthier options. Merely improving nutrition education succeeds in shifting people’s thinking about food.
Simultaneous with the WHO’s declaration of the Decade of Action on Nutrition is the “food is medicine” movement that has been growing in response to mounting evidence that a nutritionally-sound diet and access to quality foods improve health outcomes. The theory behind food is medicine is that food is a preventative public health system.
This movement includes prescription meals to people with multiple chronic conditions and low income, food delivery services, and community food quality assessment. So far, the food is medicine solution has proven cost-effective, and one study reported a 16 percent reduction in health care costs in meal recipients.
We know that widening health disparities are partially diet-dependent. Integrating nutrition into primary care is really a social necessity. Just as everyone should have access to medical care, all Americans should have equal access to proper nutritional guidance and nutritious food.”
Melinda Mesmer is an internal medicine physician.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “Put nutrition counseling in primary care.”
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Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.