Diabetes and Healthy Food Study

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food pyramid and diabetes study
Eating healthier foods could help lower-income people better control their diabetes. That’s according to a recent pilot study by University of California San Francisco and Feeding America. Cathy Isom tells us how this study will help low-income people with diabetes control.

Diabetes and Healthy Food Study

From: UCSF.edu/news article Does Healthier Food Help Low-Income People Control Their Diabetes?

To determine whether healthy food could help low-income people better control their diabetes, a pilot study by UC San Francisco and Feeding America tracked nearly 700 people at food banks in California, Texas and Ohio over two years.

The result: better diabetes control and medication adherence and an overall improvement in the consumption of healthy food.

The research is the first formal evaluation of a diabetes intervention for food insecure people involving the actual provision of food. Food insecurity, a risk factor for poor diabetes control, refers to being at risk of hunger because of the inability to afford nutritious food.

The observational pilot study is now being followed by a more extensive research trial at food banks in Oakland, Detroit and Houston by UCSF and Feeding America.

The paper was published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

“We have not traditionally thought of food pantries as places to provide diabetes education and diabetes support, but they are in fact ideal places because they reach so many vulnerable people who suffer from diabetes and because they have unique expertise in the distribution of food,” said first author Hilary Seligman, MD, an associate professor of medicine at UCSF and a core faculty member of UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

Seligman is also the senior medical advisor and lead scientist at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with a network of 60,000 food pantries and meal programs providing food to more than 46 million people annually.

As one of the nation’s foremost experts on the health implications of food insecurity, Seligman focuses on the intersection between food insecurity and health, particularly on the prevention and management of chronic disease.

Read the full article at UCSF News.