Produce Prescription – An Innovative ‘Food is Medicine’ Intervention to Improve Health Among People With Type 2 Diabetes 


While produce prescription programs have been established and increasingly growing in scale in the USA, it is unclear if produce prescription programs could be similarly acceptable, feasible, and effective in other healthcare systems and populations such as in Australia.  Therefore, we are conducting a randomized controlled trial that will determine the effect of a produce prescription intervention on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c, %) and other key clinical outcomes in participants with T2D and ongoing hyperglycemia who experience difficulties accessing and eating nutritious food in Australia.

This study will be a two-arm parallel trial with individuals randomized in a 1:1 ratio to intervention or continued usual care (control group). Healthy food boxes will be prescribed to the intervention group and delivered by an industry partner once a week for 6 months. The boxes will contain healthy produce with amounts scaled by the size of the household; and will be accompanied by recipe ideas and support for behavior change. Prior to trial commencement, we will conduct focus group consultations within the target communities to ensure the foods and recipes provided meet their expectations and cultural backgrounds.

Project Aims

Aim One

To co-design an implementation roadmap produce prescription intervention in an Australian urban setting through a participatory process.

Aim Two

To test whether a produce prescription consisting predominantly of fruit and vegetables among other nutritious food items, is an effective way of treating individuals with type 2 diabetes and reducing their risk of heart disease in the Australian setting.

Project Details

Project Team

Professor Jason Wu
Program Head Nutrition Science, The George Institute for Global Health (TGI)

Professor Bruce Neal
Executive Director, TGI

Dr. Kathy Trieu
Senior Research Fellow, TGI

Dr. Daisy Coyle
Research Fellow, TGI

Dr. Liping (Polly) Huang
Senior Data Analyst, TGI

Kristy Law
PhD candidate, TGI

Jenn Madz
Strategic Health Partnership Manager, Diabetes Australia


January 2023 – June 2027

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian
Distinguished Professor, Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Tufts University

Professor David Simmons
Head of Endocrinology, Campbelltown Hospital and Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Western Sydney University Macarthur Clinical School

Professor Jencia Wong
Director of Research, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Diabetes Centre, Clinical Professor, University of Sydney

Professor Jane Speight
Foundation Director, Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, Deakin University

Tristan Harris
Co-CEO, Harris Farm Markets


Ian Potter Foundation