Food Is Medicine Initiative

Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation

Older couple smiling, cutting vegetables together in kitchen

Food Is Medicine is the provision of healthy food to prevent, manage or treat chronic disease within our health care system by closing the gap between a medical nutrition prescription and the ability of a patient to fill and consume it on a regular basis.

We're building on critical evidence that the health care system can help patients access and consume healthy food.

The American Heart Association’s Food Is Medicine Initiative, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation(link opens in new window) and other stakeholders, is building the evidence needed to ensure millions of patients receive the benefit of a more holistic approach to diet and health within the health care system.

An American Heart Association Presidential Advisory on Food Is Medicine, published in September 2023, serves as a roadmap for the research, advocacy, quality measurement, professional education and public awareness that will lead to widespread adoption and coverage of Food Is Medicine (FIM) interventions that improve health and are cost-effective. Highlights of the advisory include:

  • Equity as central to the Initiative and as a patient-centered approach.
  • Efforts to build a robust evidence base for FIM and advocate for FIM to be regular and reimbursable component of health care.
  • A call to action for a national, cross-sector partnership approach.

Also in September, the AHA announced the Initiative’s first request for proposals (RFP) [PDF] focusing on feasibility and implementation science, specifically to achieve high rates of enrollment and engagement in FIM interventions, and testing ways to accomplish significant, short-term changes in healthy eating behaviors.

The research that springs from this first RFP will help build the foundation for future large-scale clinical trials. Ultimately, the Initiative’s research aims to generate the definitive evidence needed to provide widespread coverage of food-based treatment options for the millions of Americans living with chronic disease.

The Request for Proposals closed on November 6th. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Our Work

Read about the American Heart Association’s longtime commitment to both food and access to health care.

Our Leadership

Meet our esteemed Research Planning Group and volunteer leaders.


Keep up with the latest from the Food Is Medicine Initiative.