CHLPI has just released a new report, Food is Prevention: The Case for Integrating Food and Nutrition Interventions into Healthcare. Chronic illness is taking its toll on the health of America. Half of all adults in the United States have one or more chronic illnesses. The financial toll of chronic disease on the economy is staggering. In 2007, the Milken Institute attributed an estimated $1.3 trillion to costs of chronic illness-related medical care and productivity loss, and projected that costs could reach $4.2 trillion by 2023.
Food can and should be used as a medical intervention to prevent chronic illness or to mitigate the symptoms and complications that accompany the diagnosis of diet-related and other chronic diseases. Specifically, food and nutrition interventions that facilitate or encourage the consumption of foods that are appropriate for identified health conditions or disease risk factors should be fully integrated into healthcare.
The report explores the link between food and diet-related disease and discusses nutrition interventions that could be further integrated into delivery of healthcare to advance the goal of preventing or mitigating chronic diet-related disease. It also examines the role food plays in several prominent diet-related chronic illnesses, shares examples of food and nutrition interventions currently underway across the United States, and offers recommendations to integrate food interventions into healthcare delivery in order to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.