feeding america

New Feeding America Initiative to Help Low-Income Families Fight Diabetes

Research shows low-income, food-insecure individuals are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes

Feeding America, the United States’ largest hunger-relief organization, has launched a new clinical research trial with the intent of helping low-income Americans better manage and control type 2 diabetes, according to a release.

Diabetes affects over 29 million adults and children in the United States. Research has shown that low-income, food-insecure individuals are at higher risk for developing “diet-sensitive chronic diseases,” which includes diabetes and an increased risk of poor management of these chronic diseases.

The clinical trial, Feeding America Intervention Trial for Health—Diabetes Mellitus (FAITH-DM), has four major components: screening for diabetes and monitoring glycemic control, distributing diabetes-appropriate food (enough to last one to two weeks per distribution), referring clients to primary care providers who do not already have one in place, and providing diabetes self-management support and education.

Dr. Hilary Seligman, lead scientist and senior medical advisor at Feeding America, is overseeing FAITH-DM. The two-year, randomized controlled trial is taking place from 2015-2017, at three Feeding America member food banks. These food banks are the Houston Food Bank in Texas, the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, and Gleaner's Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan in Detroit. FAITH-DM’s goal is to determine the extent to which food bank-based intervention can improve glycemic control for clients with type 2 diabetes.

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