The Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) has received funding from the USDA Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) to launch a produce prescription and nutritional education intervention program for income-limited patients living with Type 2 diabetes in Abbeville County.
CBSHS and Clemson Rural Health are partnering with Abbeville Area Medical Center, United Christian Ministries of Abbeville County free clinic, and Feed and Seed – a Greenville based food hub that prioritizes locally sourced food – to evaluate the impact of the program, Fresh for Life, on participants’ health outcomes and health care utilization.
In Abbeville County, an estimated 13% of residents are living with diabetes – a potential precursor to heart disease and other illnesses. Research shows a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can lower risk and incidence of chronic health conditions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension. However, people with limited income and limited access to nutritious foods are at higher risk for developing diet-related diseases.
Fresh for Life is designed to help people better understand the links between nutritious foods, healthy lifestyle behaviors and managing diet-related diseases. Participants referred to the program by their health providers will receive produce box “prescriptions” with recipes optimized for diabetes. A dedicated registered dietitian will provide individual nutrition and lifestyle counseling, group food demonstrations and SNAP resource sessions. HbA1c and other clinical measures will be collected to assess the impact on participants’ health status.
The Abbeville County Library System and United Way of the Lakelands are serving as advisors to the project and will support communications to the community, including several free-to-the-public health screenings to reach vulnerable populations.
The College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences is a 21st-century land-grant college joining together a unique combination of schools and departments: Communication, Nursing, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health Sciences and Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. These areas have distinctive characteristics and missions – all joined together by a common thread of service to people and communities.
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