Food is Medicine Initiative

Food is the leading cause of poor health in the United States. Over half of American adults suffering from at least one chronic, diet-related disease. This health crisis has devastating effects for individuals and their and families and places an immense burden on our health system and economy. Though food is the culprit, it can also be the cure. 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.

Food and Society at the Aspen Institute’s new Food is Medicine Initiative aims to expand access to proven interventions. Launched in 2019 with support from the Walmart Foundation, the Initiative brings together key players from across the country to share existing knowledge and expertise, identify critical gaps and strategic priorities, and facilitate new collaborations in underrepresented regions and communities. Food and Society, working in close collaboration with its expert Food is Medicine Advisory Board, will publish a Food is Medicine Research Priorities Action Plan that establishes concrete steps to build on existing efforts and engage new actors, advancing research across the full spectrum of interventions, from prevention to treatment. The Research Priorities Action Plan will serve as both a catalyst and framework for government and philanthropic investment in the field.