In the not too distant future, eating healthier foods might be just what the doctor orders instead of medicine to avoid chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
A recent study found that a prescription for healthy foods would significantly improve people’s health, as well as prove more economical in the long run.
In the U.S., Medicaid and Medicare are exploring a healthy food prescription program. These health insurance groups utilized the data provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to create a computer simulation for sample representatives.
They studied two scenarios.
The first was coverage of 30 percent of fruit and vegetables while the other covers the same amount but for a broader range of diets such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, and plant-based oil purchases.
Medicare and Medicaid are funding both models.
The fruits and vegetable incentive concluded that a large number of cardiovascular diseases, 1.93 million to be exact, could be avoided.
Even more incredible, a more significant number of prevented cases was predicted as a result of the broader diet incentive, exactly 3.8 million instances of the same disease were avoided, while 120,000 cases of diabetes were also prevented.
Not only did the healthy food prescription reduce the number of patients diagnosed with these diseases, but it also proved to affect healthcare utilization. The initiative also amassed a total of $140 billion in savings.
The data supports subsidizing and prescribing healthy food to avoid diseases and fore more cost-effective living. Investing money on a healthy diet would be much better than paying for hospital bills and medication.
After all, prevention is better than a cure, right?