The institute aims to promote food-based solutions for maintaining health and fighting disease.
In October, Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy unveiled its brand new Food Is Medicine Institute. The “first-of-its-kind” institute aims to promote food-based solutions for maintaining health and fighting disease.
According to a Tufts press release, “The Food Is Medicine Institute at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University establishes a university-wide initiative aimed at transforming healthcare through scalable food-based interventions such as: medically tailored meals and prescriptions for produce; nutrition education for doctors; and clinical care, electronic health record, and reimbursement pathways for nutrition-based tools to help treat or prevent diet-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers and complications during pregnancy.”
The institute is also studying how food interventions can help solve health disparities, given that “poor nutrition disproportionately affects people with lower incomes, rural communities, and historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups.”
The Food Is Medicine Institute will work with private and public parties to advance research, patient care, and community and policy engagement based on the food-is-medicine concept. Already, the institute says it’s forged partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, John Hancock, and Google.
Working with Kaiser Permanente, the institute plans to design and conduct three clinical trials, including a trial on a produce prescription intervention for patients with diabetes, and another on high-risk pregnancies.
Meanwhile, Google is helping the institute explore how technologies like artificial intelligence can help build access to “high-quality nutrition information,” the institute’s press release says.