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The right to food: Building upon "food is medicine"

E.K. Barnidge, S.H. Stenmark, M. DeBor, H.K. Seligman
Am J Prev Med

During the past decade, the “food is medicine” movement has captured momentum and successfully acted upon evidence that a nutritionally adequate diet supports better health outcomes. Despite progress being made in integrating provision of food into healthcare services, there are on the ground limitations of “food is medicine” interventions that need to be acknowledged as barriers to creating lasting change. Goals must now expand beyond remediating the physiologic impacts of a poor diet and reducing associated healthcare costs and evolve toward the larger goal of promoting health over the long term. To do so, the authors advocate for adoption of a framework of thinking and action based upon the concept of the right to food, a concept embodied in international law and undergirded by rich philosophical and moral traditions. The healthcare sector can help lead change toward the recognition of food as a human right upheld by systems-level protections. Although the healthcare sector alone is not responsible for this needed paradigm change, it can help to inspire it.

Barnidge EK, Stenmark SH, DeBor M, Seligman HK. The right to food: Building upon "food is medicine" [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 12]. Am J Prev Med. 2020;S0749-3797(20)30195-1. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2020.04.011

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Commentaries & Blogs
Social Determinant of Health