Dr. Harlan brings up a very good point regarding the Affordable Care Act. “Farm before pharm” is the mantra of many programs designed to assist children at the risk of developing diet-relating diseases. One non-profit called Wholesome Wave is focused on making locally gown produce available to people of all income levels. Dr. Harlan remarks on the fact that “if we can reduce the burden of disease, we can reduce the burden of the cost of disease.” Wholesome Wave launched the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) in 2010.
FVRx is now available in 6 states, prescriptions are dispensed by primary care providers and redeemed at farmers’ markets. A study conducted in 2012 claimed that 37.8% of the participants decreased their BMI (body mass index, a weight calculation that includes height and natural body tyupe) over the course of a year. The CEO and President of Wholesome Wave is Michel Nischan, a chef, restaurateur, and author of a cookbook. He strongly believes that access to local, affordable food is going to be a huge initial step in policy change. “If large employers could see an investment in providing minimum-wage employees a connection with a company doctor and an opportunity to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, their premiums are going to go down pretty significantly on the back end,” Nischan says.
It seems there is a slight crisis in the current selection of foods that are available to the general population. Unhealthy foods offered to the greater population are causing health problems for people that cannot afford the current price of healthcare. Luckily, a lot of great minds from different intellectual backgrounds and trainings are finally coming together to instigate a change.