Food as Medicine
In February 2021, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Directors approved the definition of “Food as Medicine” and it was added to the Academy's Definition of Terms list, which is a resource that houses terms, definitions, and key considerations to support the profession of nutrition and dietetics. The definition includes,
"Food as Medicine is a philosophy where food and nutrition aids individuals through interventions that support health and wellness. Focus areas include:
- Food as preventative medicine to encourage health and well-being;
- Food as medicine in disease management and treatment;
- Food as medicine to improve nutrition security;1 and
- Food as medicine to promote food safety.
1 Yoder AD, Proaño GV, Handu D. Retail Nutrition Programs and Outcomes: An Evidence Analysis Center Scoping Review. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020; In Press.
"Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”— but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?"
"The crowds asked, “What should we do?” John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” "
"And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ."
Nourishing the Needs of Others
Over half of American adults suffer from at least one chronic, diet-related disease. This health crisis has devastating effects for individuals and their families.
According to research by the Aspen Institute and others, food and nutrition interventions can aid in prevention and management, and even reverse chronic disease. Introduced at large scale, proven interventions could save millions of lives and billions in healthcare costs each year.