NIH Funds $2.5 Million UAMS Study of Healthy-Food Delivery to Combat Diabetes in Rural Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced Tuesday that the institution will conduct a study to test whether deliveries of healthy food, along with recipes and education materials, can help reduce type 2 diabetes among food-insecure rural Arkansans.

The National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health is funding the study to the tune of $2.5 million over the course of five years.

Chris Long, Ph.D., will serve as the principal investigator for the study.

“Our long-term goal is to transform rural residents’ management of type 2 diabetes,” said Long, senior director of Research and Evaluation in the Office of Community Health & Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus.

The study will expand on research showing the potential for home food delivery to improve blood sugar levels, diabetes distress, self-reported diabetes management and food security.

The deliveries will contain educational materials and recipes intended to help control blood sugar levels.

Long said previous research is the basis for the study.

“Past studies have shown a strong link between type 2 diabetes, food insecurity and where people live,” he said.

The study will recruit 400 participants from clinics that serve rural populations. Participants will be randomly assigned to either food delivery and standard care or only standard care.

Researchers will analyze the cost-effectiveness of home food delivery in addition to standard diabetes care.

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