October 20, 2020
| 9:00 a.m.
Pivotal research from Sansum Diabetes Research Institute’s (SDRI) ongoing Farming for Life research program was published in the Oct. 5 issue of the BMJ (British Medical Journal) Nutrition, Prevention & Health, SDRI has announced.
SDRI has prescribed farm fresh produce each week to more than 200 individuals impacted by diabetes — all participants in the institute’s award-winning Farming for Lifeprogram. SDRI plans to add at least another 200 participants.
The article — titled Farming for Life: Impact of medical prescriptions for fresh vegetables on cardiometabolic health for adults with or at risk of type 2 diabetes in a predominantly Mexican-American population — sites cutting-edge research conducted at SDRI between February 2019 and March 2020.
The study shows that medical prescriptions for fresh vegetables are associated with clinically relevant improvements in cardiovascular risk factors (for example blood pressure, diabetes control and waist circumference) and quality of life variables (better sleep and mood, for instance) in adults with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, food insecurity decreased significantly. The full article can be found at www.nutrition.bmj.com.
“Our published research has shown improvements in blood pressure, waist circumference and diabetes control, which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and these same factors also appear to be important risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19,” said Dr. David Kerr, SDRI director of research and innovation.
“We are doing something simple, but we have proven that it works and now is the time to scale it,” he said.
Talley Farms in Arroyo Grande, California, is one of four farms collaborating with SDRI, providing fresh, local produce for our Farming for Life research participants.
“Talley Farms is proud to partner with Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, supplying them with local, fresh vegetable boxes for their clients,” said Andrea S. Chavez, manager of Talley Farms Box Program.
“We are eagerly awaiting the day when insurance companies will support the consumption of fresh produce rather than drugs to prevent type 2 diabetes,” she said. “The research at SDRI provides the effective evidence.
“I believe that we are, literally, what we eat and our passion here at Talley Farms in our direct-to-consumer box program is to get people to eat more produce.”
Poor diet is the leading cause of poor health in the United States, contributing to more than half a million deaths each year, with vegetable consumption below recommended levels of two to three cups of vegetables each day.
It makes sense to consider strengthening the relationship between the health and agriculture sectors and to consider food-based approaches to address the growing burden of chronic disease in America, SDRI said. SDRI sees the Farming for Life model as a beacon for food as therapy across the U.S.
Foundations, corporations and individuals interested in helping SDRI expand Farming for Life, may contact Sheba Laser Lux, grants director, 805-452-3159 or [email protected]
Learn more at www.sansum.org.