https://www.glwd.org/blog/healthy-diets-and-the-social-determinants-of-health-for-world-food-day/

10.16.19 / Policy

Healthy Diets and the Social Determinants of Health

This World FoodDay, the U.N. is leading the conversation about the importance of emphasizing healthy diets for achieving a zero hunger world. Their goal of Zero Hunger by 2030 is “not only about feeding the hungry, but also nourishing people.”¹ God’s Love We Deliver has been working towards making nutritious, medically tailored meals available to under-served populations since 1985. We tackle both food insecurity and malnutrition every day, acknowledging that these two challenges are inextricably linked and even more dangerous to and likely to affect those living with life altering illness.

People who are food insecure often struggle to follow medication plans, control chronic conditions, and receive timely medical care. At the same time, they often face increased fatigue and need for emergency medical services. People who are malnourished are 50% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after a first hospitalization. We’re thrilled that more institutions are beginning to recognize that health care must address the fact that 80% of a person’s health is attributable to factors outside of the medical system. 

The Social Determinants of Health

Malnutrition causes more than 2 million hospital stays annually in the United States. The good news is, we know that seriously ill people who receive medically tailored meals:

  • Spend 16% less on health care.
  • Have 50% fewer hospital admissions.
  • Are 23% more likely to be discharged to their homes instead of institutions.

This World Food Day, remember that everyone has a role to play in ensuring that knowledge of nutrition is an integral component our fight against hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. As our President & CEO, Karen Pearl, recently said at the 50th Anniversary of The White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health,  “We will never reach our healthcare goals of improving outcomes and lowering costs without fully integrating the medically tailored meal intervention into healthcare.”

 

¹ http://www.fao.org/3/ca5467en/ca5467en.pdf

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