July 24, 2012

Doctors write a prescription for fresh produce

Bad cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure; these are all conditions that often prompt a trip to the pharmacy. But now, physicians are administering a different treatment entirely: produce. Doctors at select clinics across the country are writing some obese patients "prescriptions" for fruits and vegetables.

The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program provides daily $1 subsidies to buy produce at local farmers markets. FVRx, as it is also known, is funded through Wholesome Wave, a non-profit organization which operates from private donations. Each member of a family gets the $1 prescription so, for example, a family of five would end up getting $35 per week to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.

In addition to subsidies, FVRx has patients meet with their physicians to check up on their health including their height, weight, blood pressure and body mass index. The program also offers exercise and cooking classes.

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