Medically Tailored Meals - The Future of Healthcare

Written by: 
Brittney Dear
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Medically Tailored Meals

Diet-related diseases are on the rise at a rapid rate, with over half of all Americans diagnosed with one or more chronic condition, an increase of nearly 5% in less than a decade. (1,2)  Each year, unhealthy diet causes 678,000 deaths in the U.S. (3) Type 2 diabetes alone causes over 1 million deaths globally per year, with about 6.28% of the world’s population affected by the disease. (4)

These chronic illnesses don’t just influence affected patients, but greatly impact the entire healthcare industry.

For instance, the direct healthcare cost of care for diagnosed diabetes and indirect cost of lost productivity in the U.S. was $327 billion in 2017 alone, or $1 out of every $4 in U.S. healthcare costs. (5)

Diet-related diseases are generally caused by poor diet patterns and worsened with a sedentary lifestyle. A diet low in fiber and high in ultra-processed foods (such as simple carbohydrates, processed meats, and sugary beverages and condiments), can increase risk of developing chronic disease. (6)

In fact, studies show that 70.3% of worldwide type 2 diabetes cases are attributed to poor diet. (7)  

Ultra-processed food is available at virtually every street corner, serving as a less expensive option for many, and sometimes the only option in food deserts across the world. Because of this, there is now a nutritional risk at hand, especially among low-income populations. (8)

The good news is that Medically Tailored Meals are gaining traction, and they come with promising results.

In a 2022 simulated study, 6,309,998 adults with one or more chronic diseases were selected and assessed for the overall impact of providing ten Medically Tailored Meals per week over eight months. The results found that if all U.S. adults with diet-related diseases received Medically Tailored Meals of this same frequency, it could cut $13.6 billion in healthcare expenses and help avert 1.6 million hospitalizations annually. Over a 10-year period, these meals could save the U.S. $185.1 billion and help avert 18,257,000 hospitalizations. (9)

Healthcare expenditures aren’t the only problem that would ease; Medically Tailored Meals could improve patient’s overall health by reducing their LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, by 5 to 10%, cause 16% fewer heart failure readmissions and decrease mortality rates associated with kidney disease by 56%. (10)

Medically Tailored Meals, offered through Medicare, Medicaid and various other private insurance companies, have proven to not only improve overall health and wellness in patients, but reduce healthcare costs. These nutritious meals demonstrate the power of Food as Medicine with specially-designed food that follows the nutritional restrictions and requirements of the most common diet-related diseases to give patients optimal nutrition for their condition. Made with only healthy, all-natural ingredients, Root Food Group Medically Tailored Meals can help support the needs of those living with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, high cholesterol, and more.

Unfortunately, diet-related diseases remain at a steady incline. If changes aren’t made soon, the number of Americans with at least one chronic disease will nearly double by 2050. (11)  

However, with the presence of Medically Tailored Meals in healthcare systems, these numbers could be reduced. (12) Food is the essence of health, and by returning to our roots and filling our diets with nutrient-dense, healthy meals, we can work against the pressing epidemic of chronic disease.

Through carefully-designed whole, healthy and delicious food, Roots Food Group strives to combat the rising cases of diet-related diseases for a healthier and more food-secure America.

Sources

  1. Schap, P. by T. E. (2016, March 16). The healthy eating index: How is America doing?. USDA. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/03/16/healthy-eating-index-how-america-doing
  2. Boersma P, Black LI, Ward BW. Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions Among US Adults, 2018. Prev Chronic Dis 2020;17:200130. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2020/20_0130.htm
  3. Why good nutrition is important. Center for Science in the Public Interest. (2018, May 17). https://www.cspinet.org/eating-healthy/why-good-nutrition-important
  4. Khan, M. A. B., Hashim, M. J., King, J. K., Govender, R. D., Mustafa, H., & Al Kaabi, J. (2020, March). Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes - global burden of disease and forecasted trends. Journal of epidemiology and global health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7310804/
  5. Statistics about diabetes. Statistics About Diabetes | ADA. (n.d.). https://diabetes.org/about-us/statistics/about-diabetes
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022a, September 8). Poor nutrition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/nutrition.htm
  7. O’Hearn, M., Lara-Castor, L., Cudhea, F., Miller, V., Reedy, J., Shi, P., Zhang, J., Wong, J. B., Economos, C. D., Micha, R., & Mozaffarian, D. (2023a, April 17). Incident type 2 diabetes attributable to suboptimal diet in 184 countries. Nature News. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-023-02278-8
  8. Serafim, P., Borges, C. A., Cabral-Miranda, W., & Jaime, P. C. (2022, April 20). Ultra-processed food availability and sociodemographic associated factors in a Brazilian municipality. Frontiers in nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9067397/
  9. Hager K;Cudhea FP;Wong JB;Berkowitz SA;Downer S;Lauren BN;Mozaffarian D; (n.d.). Association of National Expansion of insurance coverage of medically tailored meals with estimated hospitalizations and health care expenditures in the US. JAMA network open. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36251292/
  10. Chen, A. M. H., Draime, J. A., Berman, S., Gardner, J., Krauss, Z., & Martinez, J. (2022, March 18). Food as medicine? exploring the impact of providing healthy foods on adherence and clinical and economic outcomes. Exploratory research in clinical and social pharmacy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9032066/
  11. CT;, A. J. (n.d.). Projecting the chronic disease burden among the adult population in the United States using a multi-state population model. Frontiers in public health. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36711415/
  12. Rabaut, L. J. (2019, April 29). Medically tailored meals as a prescription for treatment of food-insecure type 2 diabetics. Journal of patient-centered research and reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676759

Fresh, Delicious & Healthy!
At Roots Food Group, we prioritize flavor, and freshness more than our competitors. Each bite into our meals is sure to be healthy, and delicious. Ask your doctor about medically tailored meals today, and let Roots Food Group support your health needs!
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