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Will more doctors write prescriptions for eating vegetables?

Obesity recommendations
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(NaturalNews) It's no secret that several doctors write endless amounts of prescriptions, practically scribbling down an antibiotic or some other drug name while the patient is still in the process of explaining their symptoms. Theories abound, from the thought that some medial experts believe patients would rather pop a pill than dig deeper into the potential problem to notions about a medical system gone bad thanks to Big Pharma and even bigger bank accounts.

That's why it might come as a shock to many people that Dr. Sundari Periasamy, a pediatrician at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, wrote a prescription for his very overweight patient that had nothing to do with a pill. Rather, his "prescription" was for her to enroll in a program that focused on consumption of healthy foods. No fad diet, no strange soups, no powdered concoctions... just to simply make better food choices.(1)

As a result, his 10-year-old patient, Alaijah Borden, dropped five pounds the first year. She then dropped another eight the following year, all from eating more fruits and vegetables and less greasy foods and cookies.

"It's really an awesome program that's made it more affordable for me to get fruits and vegetables," said Alaijah's mother, Sheryl Brown. "I told my daughter it's better to be told you're overweight and here's the solution than to just be told you're overweight and sent home."(1)

Learning to eat healthier benefits low-income populations, delivers results

Dr. Periasamy's solution also reflects the desire to help a segment of the population that often finds itself without the ability to easily acquire proper nutrition: lower-income families. Recognizing this, a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, or FVRx, is in place at Harlem Hospital Center. Created by Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income neighborhoods have access to healthier food, it's been successful in proving that one need not pop a pill to fight obesity, that even small changes in types of food, portions and an understanding of nutritional value can bring about health improvements.(1)

Indeed, such programs do seem to be working remarkably well.

In fact, results from an analysis last year found that 97 percent of the children and 96 percent of their families involved with the FVRx program ate more fruits and vegetables after joining. Additionally, it was found that over 90 percent of families shopped at farmers' markets weekly or more than two or three times a month, and 70 percent understood more about the health value of fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the most impressive discovery of all was that, after only four months on the program, 40 percent of participating children lowered their body mass index (BMI).(1)

Efforts similar to Dr. Periasamy's may be a growing trend.

Healthy "prescriptions" a possible growing trend

Last summer, a Washington, D.C., doctor made headlines when he, too, provided patients with advice contrary to the usual pill-taking regimen. His overweight patients, also from low-income areas, were given "park prescriptions," in which Dr. Robert Zarr detailed specific ways of getting to and from places like school. For example, rather than take a few kinds of public transportation, Dr. Zarr provided them with other routes that made walking through a park part of the experience. Rather than rely solely on buses and non-activity, he included ways people could get to their destination that also caused them to shed pounds and become healthier.(2)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the past 30 years alone, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. It's common that overweight children go on to become overweight or obese adults, increasing the likelihood that they'll develop severe health problems such as stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart problems.(3)


(1) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

(2) http://blogs.naturalnews.com

(3) http://www.cdc.gov

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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