It’s no secret that North America as a whole has a bit of a weight problem. However, it may be easier to solve than you think. There are new options available to help you eat healthier and become a better you.
Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program
The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program has helped many Americans defeat their weight problem by allowing them to eat healthy and get the nutrition they need.
The problem that many Americans are facing today is that it is more expensive to eat fresh fruits and vegetables than it is to eat processed food. When a family is living on low income, deciding how to use their small food budget can be a tricky task. The money tends to stretch much farther when buying frozen, processed food, instead of fresh produce. Although those types of food will fill your stomach, they won’t do you any favors when it comes to your health. That’s where the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program comes in.
Who started it
The program was started in New York City by a nonprofit group called Wholesome Wave. They saw a desperate need for access to healthy food in low income neighborhoods and started this program to combat the problem.
How does it work?
In this program, a family is essentially educated on healthy eating, as well as given a “prescription” for produce in the form of health bucks. These Health Bucks are then used at a local farmers’ market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
The results of this program have been astonishing. It’s clear that the program is working as intended, and the results are not going unnoticed. Here are the standout stats:
- 97 percent of children are eating more produce after joining the program. 96% of their families are eating more fruits and vegetables as well.
- About 90% of enrolled families started shopping at their local farmers’ markets about three to four times a month, and now visit the market more often
- With the health education provided with the program, about 70% of people enrolled now understand more about the health benefits provided by fruits and vegetables.
- Through monthly visits to their doctor, it has been shown that after only four months, 40% of the children enrolled in this program had lowered their BMI (Body Mass Index).
It’s no surprise that the community response to this program has been a positive one. Families are able to physically see the benefit of eating fresh produce instead of canned or processed foods. This outcome has received much attention from local businesses. Creating a demand for more affordable produce options has caused some stores and farmers’ markets to become more competitive in their pricing.
This program has definitely brought some much needed attention to a problem that had afflicted the United States for a long time. The success achieved by this program, and ones like it, are sure to bring great food options for low income households, as well as combat the obesity epidemic.