Fruit and vegetables on the NHS
- By: Siân Knight
Fruit and vegetables are being prescribed by doctors in the Wirral as part of a new scheme to reduce heart disease. Up to 200 patients who are at risk of cardiovascular disease are being given vouchers which they can exchange at their local supermarket for fruit and vegetables. As well as being introduced to new shopping and cooking habits, the patients are encouraged to take up new fitness regimens as part of a major change in behavioural patterns.
Although the government already finances free fruit for primary school children in deprived areas, the Wirral scheme is the first of its kind for adults. The programme lasts 10 weeks, costs less that £1 a day per patient, and is funded by Health Links, a specialist service provided by local government and health authorities. Although research has proved that eating five portions of fruit and vegetable a day drastically cuts the incidence