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Abbott’s Food as Medicine Program Reports Clinical Improvements in Patients with Diabetes


Healthy Food Rx provides home-delivered medical prescriptions of healthy food to help address diabetes.

Selection of healthy food on rustic wooden background. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Daniel Vincek

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Daniel Vincek

Abbott announced that during a recent study of Healthy Food Rx—a food as medicine program that provides home-delivered medical prescriptions of healthy food to help address diabetes—the results showed clinically important benefits for people with diabetes. Conducted by the Public Health Institute's Center for Wellness and Nutrition (PHI CWN) in an active community clinic over a 12-month period, the real-world study found Healthy Food Rx participants had lower A1C levels, improved diabetes self-management, and improved overall diet quality and food security.1

There is a belief among experts that the type 2 diabetes crisis can be controlled. According to an article by USA Today, Barbara White, a recipient of Healthy Food Rx boxes, felt much better as a result of their program. She reported no longer waking up with a headache and an improved A1C level, enabling her to cut back on medications with unpleasant adverse effects.2

“It’s been a life changer for me,” she said to USA Today.2

According to the CDC, more than 37 million individuals in the United States have diabetes, of whom one in five are unaware they have it. Further, more than 96 million adults have prediabetes, of whom more than eight in ten are unaware they have it. The disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Type 2 diabetes comprises approximately 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of the disease.

Over the past two decades, the number of US adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled, according to the CDC.3 All told, diabetes represents a significant financial drain on society, as the medical costs and lost work and wages for patients with diabetes total $327 billion annually, with costs for patients with diabetes twice as high compared to those who do not have the disease.3

Launched in 2021 in Stockton, Calif., where 60% of the population has diabetes or prediabetes, the Healthy Food Rx program brought together Stockton-based organizations to help individuals living with diabetes by delivering free recipe-based food boxes to approximately 450 participants' homes and providing education about managing their diabetes through nutrition.1

"Healthy Food Rx is a strong example of how working side-by-side with communities can break down barriers and help people live healthier," said Melissa Brotz, president, Abbott Fund and VP, global marketing, external affairs, Abbott, in a press release. "We know that Healthy Food Rx is making a meaningful difference for people with diabetes, and we're also reaching their families with nutritious meals and discussions on healthy eating. We look forward to sharing our learnings and growing our impact."1

Results of the local program showed a .8 drop in A1C (better than the .5 benchmark), a 30% improvement in diabetic management, and a 10% improvement in food security.4


1. PARTICIPANTS IN ABBOTT'S FOOD AS MEDICINE PROGRAM SHOWED CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN MANAGING DIABETES. Abbott. November 8, 2023. Accessed November 9, 2023. https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2023-11-08-Participants-in-Abbotts-Food-as-Medicine-Program-Showed-Clinically-Significant-Improvements-in-Managing-Diabetes

2. Type 2 diabetes crisis can be controlled. These solutions are how we get there. USA Today. Updated October 6, 2023. Accessed November 9, 2023. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/10/01/type-2-diabetes-care-solutions-roadblocks/70773326007/

3. Diabetes Fast Facts. CDC. Webpage. Last reviewed April 4, 2023. Accessed November 9, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html

4. Stockton Abbott's Food as Medicine Program Proven to Help Local Patients with Diabetes. Caravan News. November 8, 2023. Accessed November 9, 2023. https://www.caravannews.com/News/stockton-abbotts-food-as-medicine-program-proven-to-help-local-patients-with-diabetes

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