Utilizing nutrition as a way to prevent and manage chronic diseases

Dietary interventions have been shown to be successful in managing and improving symptoms of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Nutritious food promotes good health.

couple eating mediterranean food

Dietary interventions have been shown to be successful in managing and improving symptoms of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.[1],[2] Nutritious food promotes good health. Access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can provide families and children alternatives to processed foods that have been linked to obesity, metabolic disease and low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein or "good" cholesterol). [3] 

As part of prevention and management of kidney disease, AKF supports:

  • Expanding current Medicare coverage for medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which is nutrition related diagnostic, therapeutic and counseling services provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist. This intervention has been found cost-effective and successful for preventing and managing chronic illnesses.[4] Medicare currently covers MNT for people with diabetes or a renal disease. AKF supports expanding MNT under Medicare to include prediabetes, hypertension, and other illnesses that can be improved with nutrition.  
  • Improving access to non-processed groceries, such as initiatives to encourage the development of grocery stores that carry fresh fruit and vegetables in "food deserts," and tax credits and grants for businesses who serve low-income urban and rural areas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as "a low-income tract where a substantial number or substantial share of residents does not have easy access to a supermarket or large grocery store."

Enhancing policies that provide free delivery of groceries to people who live in "food deserts." Low-income people on dialysis and those with CKD, diabetes, pre-diabetes, or hypertension who live in food deserts would benefit from having nutritious food delivered. The 2018 Farm Bill included a national Online Purchase Pilot which provided SNAP beneficiaries' access to  grocery delivery services.  In urban areas, 5.9% were "non-deliverable." In rural areas, 69.5% were "non-deliverable."[5]

 


[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412662/

[2]https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/mnh/2015/00000024/00000006/art00007

[3]https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/consumption-of-ultraprocessed-foods-and-health-status-a-systematic-review-and-metaanalysis/FDCA00C0C747AA36E1860BBF69A62704

[4]https://www.andeal.org/topic.cfm?cat=4085

[5]https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2756107