Fresh, Delivered Produce Tied to Improvements in CVD Risk Factors

Significant improvements seen for produce consumption, physical activity, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and HbA1c
Fresh, Delivered Produce Tied to Improvements in CVD Risk Factors
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, March 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Recipe4Health, a Food as Medicine program, is effective for improving some indicators of heart health, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2024 Scientific Sessions, held from March 18 to 21 in Chicago.

Lisa G. Rosas, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues conducted before and after surveys to examine the effectiveness of Recipe4Health, a Food as Medicine program with 16 weekly deliveries of produce, at four months for improving food insecurity and indicators of heart health among patients who accessed care in federally qualified health centers. The analysis included 5,286 middle-aged (mean age, 51.2 years) adults, primarily women (68 percent), representing diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds (51 percent Latinx; 21 percent Black; 8 percent Asian American/Pacific Islander).

The researchers found that Recipe4Health participants significantly increased their produce consumption (0.41 servings) and physical activity (41.98 minutes/week). There were also statistically significant improvements observed in food insecurity among Recipe4Health participants, with 59 percent reporting food insecurity at baseline versus 48 percent at follow-up. There were significant decreases seen in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol among Recipe4Health participants (−17.1), as well as decreases in hemoglobin A1c (−0.37 percent), versus that seen for propensity score-matched controls at 12 months. For body mass index and blood pressure, there were no significant differences noted between Recipe4Health participants and controls.

"I was really excited to see that providing patients with a modest amount of locally grown produce resulted in improvements in food insecurity, diet, and indicators of cardiovascular health," Rosas said in a statement.

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