In partnership with the University of Calgary, Alberta Blue Cross is supporting a research study to investigate whether providing a subsidized healthy food prescription for food-insecure adults living with Type 2 diabetes will help them to better manage their condition and reduce health care costs.
More than 300,000 Albertans live with Type 2 diabetes, so a healthy food subsidy program can help to tackle one of the largest factors contributing to diabetes—access to nutritious and affordable food. For individuals living with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, access to healthier foods can help to improve their health outcomes and prevent the need for costly health care interventions in the future. Our partnership in this research will help to examine the impact of healthy food subsidies as an innovative solution for supporting the wellness of Albertans living with chronic disease and the sustainability of our healthcare system through prevention.
Researchers will work with 400 participants with Type 2 diabetes from several rural and urban communities in Alberta who are also food insecure (that is, they regularly do not have enough food). They will provide all participants with a healthy food prescription and information about healthy eating. Half of the participants will also receive a subsidy specifically for purchasing healthy foods for six months. The researchers will monitor all the participants, measuring their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and other clinical results to study the impact of the program on short and longer-term health and healthcare costs.
You can learn more about this new research study on the University of Calgary’s website.
Alberta Blue Cross is pleased to provide our individual health plan members with the opportunity to participate in this research study. During this stage of the research, we are first exploring the impact of making healthy eating more available within plans that closely align with the study inclusion criteria. Alberta Blue Cross members enrolled in one of the following plans may be eligible to participate in the research: Personal Choice Plan, Blue Choice Plan or Blue Assured Plan. If you are enrolled in one of these plans, you can learn more about how to participate on Balance®, our online wellness platform which can be accessed by signing into our member site or our app. Once you are logged in to Balance you will be able to see a banner on the Balance Dashboard with the University of Calgary logo—you can click this to learn more and determine your eligibility.
For more information about living with or managing diabetes, visit our diabetes page.