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Dr. Kofi D. Essel advocates integrating food as medicine in healthcare practise

Dr. Kofi D. Essel, speaking at Lifestyle Medicine 2023, emphasised the importance of integrating food as medicine from the outset in healthcare practice to improve overall patient health. He highlighted the impact of food as medicine on conditions like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease, while outlining strategies to offer patients and families healthier food choices. Three options discussed included medically tailored meals, medically tailored groceries, and producing prescriptions. Medically tailored meals, prepared by dietitians and chefs, provide convenient but costly alternatives, accounting for over 50% of a patient’s daily calories. Medically tailored groceries offer healthier foods like nuts and seeds, while produce prescriptions empower individuals to access fresh fruits and vegetables. Dr. Essel also stressed the significance of addressing food insecurity, particularly in marginalised communities, and advocated for healthcare transformation that prioritises the well-being of children and families, ensuring access to food as medicine from the early stages.

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