Food as Medicine Defined
The NFRPD Fellow and Advisory Group created a definition for “Food as Medicine” as part of year 1 of the NFRPD fellowship. In February 2021, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Directors approved the definition of “Food as Medicine” and it was added to the Academy’s Definition of Terms list, which is a resource that houses terms, definitions, and key considerations to support the profession of nutrition and dietetics.
Food as Medicine is a philosophy where food and nutrition aids individuals through interventions that support health and wellness. Focus areas include:
- Food as preventative medicine to encourage health and well-being;
- Food as medicine in disease management and treatment;
- Food as medicine to improve nutrition security;1and
- Food as medicine to promote food safety.
Food as medicine is a reaffirmation that food and nutrition play a role in sustaining health, preventing disease, and as a therapy for those with conditions or in situations responsive to changes in their diet.2
1 Yoder AD, Proaño GV, Handu D. Retail Nutrition Programs and Outcomes: An Evidence Analysis Center Scoping Review. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020; In Press.
2 Downer S, Berkowitz SA, Harlan TS, Lee Olstad D, Mozaffarian D. Food is medicine: Actions to integrate food and nutrition into healthcare. BMJ. 2020; 369: m2482.