Framing Language and Principles

Food is Medicine encompasses a broad range of approaches that promote optimal health and healing and reduce disease burden by providing nutritious food — in conjunction with human services, education, and policy change — through collaboration at the nexus of healthcare and community. 

Food is Medicine Principles

Food is Medicine:

  • Recognizes that nourishment is essential for good health, wellbeing, and resilience.
    Nourishment is essential to more than physical health — fosters mental, social, and behavioral benefits — and is important across the life course in every setting.
  • Facilitates easy access to healthy food across the health continuum in the community.
    Approaches are designed to support health promotion, disease prevention, and/or chronic and acute condition management while addressing physical, mental, spiritual, cultural, and social well-being and community connections. Interventions prioritize the dignity and respect of a person receiving and consuming food with consideration of culturally and regionally appropriate and person-centered design.
  • Cultivates understanding of the relationship between nutrition and health.
    Fosters intentional integration of nutrition education throughout healthcare and human service delivery and training to help ensure adequate provider knowledge. Facilitates knowledge of how nutrition affects health by engaging people and their communities through dynamic communication and tailored messaging, using strategies such as direct and online education, teaching kitchens, and consumer labeling.
  • Unites partners with diverse assets to build sustained and integrated solutions. 
    Diverse organizations and sectors have reinforcing and collaborative assets that collectively advance and expand solutions. Through shared stewardship, guided by common language and data access, resources are employed to advance policy and practice that complement existing tools to benefit health, and nutrition.
  • Invests in the capacity of under-resourced communities. 
    Equitable access to resources and capacity development enables all communities to support meaningful solutions that leverage inherent assets and prioritize investment in localized infrastructure, fostering economic opportunity and community stability.