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Scaling the Impact of Food on Health: Cross-Sectoral Research Opportunities

June 6, 2023

Researchers from Factor Health at Dell Medical School and the nonprofit Project Evident published a new whitepaper, “Building the Evidence Base for Nutrition Incentives and Health.” The paper explores opportunities for cross-sectoral collaborations in health care, food systems and government programs to improve health outcomes and food system sustainability. It ends by providing specific examples as research priorities and potential pilots to advance aligned goals.

The whitepaper was sponsored by Fair Food Network and supported by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Key highlights include:

  • The challenge of a public health and health care crisis driven by the growth of diet-related chronic conditions where levers of influence are embedded within agricultural and food sectors.
  • Approaches to influencing nutrition and food security via the U.S. Department of Agriculture and current progress in coordinating these with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other elements of the health system.
  • The current scope of health care’s interactions with the food system, its progress in incorporating food and nutrition as health strategies such as “Food as Medicine,” and how health care’s transition to paying for results or “value” could encourage paying for food as health.
  • The role of large-scale incentive programs promoting fruits and vegetables consumption and alleviating food insecurity while increasing the resilience of agricultural and food systems. 
  • Specific research frameworks that encourage cross-sector collaboration to scale the health impacts of food while supporting a sustainable and resilient food system.

About Factor Health

Factor Health is an incubator housed at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin that identifies, tests and scales opportunities to address the broader drivers of health to rapidly improve outcomes that matter to people and the health system. Factor Health is supported by the Episcopal Health Foundation. 

About Project Evident

Project Evident harnesses the power of evidence for greater impact. It believes that by empowering practitioners to drive their own evidence building while also strengthening the surrounding ecosystem, it can increase the number of effective solutions in the social and education sectors and scale them faster — ultimately producing stronger, more meaningful and more equitable outcomes for communities.