A Pediatric Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program Increases Food Security in Low-Income Households

Ronit A. Ridberg, Janice F. Bell, Kathryn E. Merritt, Diane M. Harris, Heather M. Young, Daniel J. Tancredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess change in household food security associated with participation in a pediatric fruit/vegetable prescription program. Methods: The researchers analyzed clinic-based, fruit/vegetable prescription program data for 578 low-income families, collected in 2013–2015, and calculated changes in food security (summative score; high/low/very low; and individual US Department of Agriculture measures). Results: Of participating households, 72% increased their summative score over the course of the program. In adjusted regression models, participants had higher change scores with 5 or 6 clinical visits, compared with 1 or 2 visits (β = .07; 95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.14), and college education of the primary caretaker, compared with less than college (β = .05; 95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.09). Select clinic sites (but neither visit nor redemption proportions) significantly contributed to change score variance. All US Department of Agriculture measures saw significant increases. Conclusions and Implications: Fruit/vegetable prescription programs may help providers address patients’ food insecurity. Further research using experimental designs and implementation science could build the case to incorporate programs into practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • food security
  • fruit and vegetable prescription program
  • nutrition incentive programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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