i Came across this short article this morning on how Medical Practitioners in New York now have a system where they can prescribe Fruit and Vegetables to low-income families with obesity problems.
And there are around 140 New York City Farmers Markets who will take the vouchers.
When you think about the amount they are doling out … which is approximately $1/day per household member for a minimum of 4-mths and is called Health Bucks.
To me it makes great sense, when you consider the costs of obesity-related health conditions that decent nutrition can help prevent, where it’s often life-threatening, and the costs spiral out of control, x-rays, surgery, drugs, and further interventions.
Let’s think about associated conditions, such as the cancers, heart conditions, two types of diabetes, hyper/hypoglycemia, hypertension, and a myriad of other less directly related yet costly interventions.
Is It New?
I think not, because I remember watching this TED Talk by Rebecca Onie – What If Our Healthcare system kept us healthy? Here she talks about a similar idea, that she developed after University, while still training, where the idea is that medics write out prescriptions extending out to include heating, water and accommodation, ensuring people maintain a roof over their heads, come what may.
And she didn’t take full credit as she sites a doctor who devised something similar 50-60 years ago.
But let’s not let that diminish the need, in my opinion, for such a long-sighted scheme which ultimately has to be saving a drain on the economy.
Well I’ve not exactly been impartial here but I think it’s a great idea and would hope to see it role out into the wider world where refined mass production of non-foods and poor quality products have over-run the supermarket shelves.
What’s really good about it is that once we start to change our eating we start to desire more of the green stuff, and that has to be no bad thing.
What are your thoughts on this? Is it feasible? Would you like to see it offered in your area?