Food is Medicine

Front cover of the Food is Medicine Research Action Plan showing images of healthy meals, a cook, a woman grocery shopping, a volunteer server, and a shopper paying for good.

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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  with its expert Food is Medicine Advisory Board, published the new Food is Medicine Research 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 Action Plan serves as both a catalyst and framework for government and philanthropic investment in the field.