Food and compassion as medicine
Community project in collaboration with teen volunteers will get state funding from the government of California for a full blown research about food as medicine.
The Ceres Community Project provides nutritious meals prepared by teen volunteer sous-chefs. The ingredients are organic and sourced locally to get optimum nutrition. The “food as medicine” approach increasingly embraced by physicians, health insurers, researchers and public health officials.
According to report from the New York Times, the state-funded study that will test whether providing daily nutritious meals to chronically ill, low-income people will affect their prognosis and treatment, or the cost of their medical care will serve 1,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes or congestive heart failure, comparing them to 4,000 similar patients who don’t get the meals.
The study will run for three years building from earlier research. A study in Philadelphia by the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance retroactively compared health insurance claims for 65 chronically ill Medicaid patients who received six months’ of medically tailored meals with a control group.
The patients who got the food racked up about $12,000 less a month in medical expenses. Another research showed that recipients of the food from the program were less depressed, less likely to make trade-offs between food and health care, and more likely to stick with their medications.
The study showed that their care costs less with the price of feeding each participant placed at $1,184 for the 6 months as compared to $2,774 cost per day at a California hospital.