Food As Medicine
Hunger is a persistent problem in under-resourced communities and communities of color across the United States, affecting over 37.1 million Americans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has doubled. To cope, families often rely on low-cost foods which tend to be unhealthy, exacerbating chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Worse, these chronic conditions are often the underlying conditions driving COVID-19 mortality rates. Food insecurity was already an urgent problem before the pandemic; it is now one of the most prominent health equity challenges in the United States.
Community health centers are the primary responders for families facing food insecurity and managing chronic conditions. The typical recommendation is to refer families to government and local food assistance, which is essential, but insufficient for achieving increased access to healthy food and improve health outcomes. The Food for Health Equity Lab strives to generate evidence -- for example, in how nutritious food and fresh vegetables can reduce chronic disease -- that community health centers can use to improve people’s nutrition and health.
Lisa Goldman Rosas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and the Department of Medicine, Division of Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford School of Medicine; Food for Health Equity Lab Principal Investigator.
Mike Baiocchi, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Stanford Prevention Research Center
Wei-ting Chen, Project Director and Associate Director of Community Partnerships, Office of Community Engagement
Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa, Instructor, Epidemiology and Population Health; Hector Romero, Research Coordinator
June Tester, MD, MPH, UCSF; Olivia Tigre, Research Coordinator;
Lan Xiao, Biostatistician, Office of Community Engagement