NYC Fights Obesity With Produce Prescriptions

The Empire State issues “Health Bucks” to encourage residents to get their food at local farmers’ markets.


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New York City residents will now be able to combat obesity and the myriad diet-related chronic diseases with fresh produce. The GrowNYC campaign gives low-income residents one “Health Buck” every day for each member of their families, which can be used to buy fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets. The initiative enjoyed a successful test run two years ago in Massachusetts, Maine, California, and Rhode Island, and has expanded to seven states since. One of the program participants reported that her son lost nearly 40 pounds using the health bucks. Health experts such as Dr. Shefali Khanna, chief of pediatrics at Lincoln Medical Center, are proponents of Health Bucks. “This is really an investment for the future,” says Khanna. “And we hope we have a whole generation of kids who benefit from this, and reaches adulthood at a healthy optimal weight.”

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