Meal programs for maternal health

What is Gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops for the first time during pregnancy.

It can develop when the changes experienced during pregnancy cause the body to use insulin less effectively or when the body is unable to make and use all the insulin it needs during pregnancy. Both of these causes lead to excess sugar in the bloodstream, which poses risks for the expectant parent and baby.

The impact

According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 1 in 10 pregnancies in the US are affected by gestational diabetes, equating to over 300,000 pregnancies each year!

The most common complications for the parent are high blood pressure during pregnancy and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. According to the CDC, about 50% of people who experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes also increases the risk of complications for the baby, including excessive birth weight, preterm birth, and an increased risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

The prescription

While these complications are concerning, many studies have found that gestational diabetes responds well to changes in lifestyle.

The dietary advice for people suffering from gestational diabetes is clear: eat regularly, prioritize vegetables, fruit and lean protein, and avoid carbohydrate-rich foods.

Studies have also found that diabetes remission is more successful if attempted early on in the disease lifecycle, so the leading medical advice is for expectant parents to act quickly to start a healthy diet and exercise regime.

Breaking down barriers

As simple as that sounds, the prescription can be hard to fill. The two most common barriers noted by patients and practitioners are:

  1. how difficult it is to learn and follow a new diet during the stress of a high-risk pregnancy
  2. the financial burden of switching to a healthier diet.

We designed the RxDiet platform to remove these barriers by:

  • Providing simple and delicious recipes that people love to cook
  • Tailoring meal plans to each member’s medical needs and delivering groceries direct to their door to take the mental load out of implementing a new diet
  • Creating meal combinations and sensible substitutions that make healthy eating as affordable as the alternative

For health plan providers, offering meal plan benefits or meal plan subsidies during pregnancy can be a shrewd investment. The average cost of providing healthy meals during the last six months of pregnancy is $2,400, while a lifetime of diabetes treatment can cost up to 100x that amount!

Want to learn more about our maternal health offerings? Contact us today or subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about how personalized meals can improve member health and reduce costs.

Changing habits is hard

Eating healthy will help you live a healthier life! Well, dah! This fact is universally accepted and not argued with. So why, then, the adoption of both food benefits (offered by most Medicare Advantage plans) and healthier eating habits is so low? The answer is exceptionally straightforward: changing habits is hard, and members don’t know what benefits their health plan offers nor how to get them.

Food is a Magic Drug

In 1928, a chance event in Alexander Fleming’s laboratory created Penicillin, which many call a “magic drug” for its wide application and usability.

RxDiet helps people battling obesity and associated health challenges live healthier and feel better

At RxDiet, traditional approaches such as educational resources, diet/nutrition guides, and workout plans still need to deliver meaningful results.

Digital or Telephonic Healthcare – Which Way Is Better?

Spoiler: The answer is BOTH A lot of “digital-first” and “digital front door” products and vendors are penetrating the healthcare market and specifically, the healthcare payer space. At RxDiet, we believe that while digital solutions are the future, the future may not be here quite yet!

Going beyond prepared meals in Transition of Care Programs

A recent study found that members receiving food (prepared meals) post-discharge from the hospital experienced fewer readmissions than those not signing up for the program.

Food as Medicine: A Primer

When you think about “food as medicine,” what comes to mind? If you imagine antioxidant-rich green smoothies or nutrient-packed grain bowls, you’re not wrong. But you’re only hitting the tip of the iceberg—because food as medicine means so much more than a nourishing meal choice here and there.

A history of food as medicine

The ancient Greeks ate onion for its curative qualities, traditional Chinese healers prescribed garlic for respiratory and digestive ailments, and the indigenous Aztec people drank cocoa to cure fatigue. While many ancient remedies have been debunked by modern medicine, numerous studies have found plant-based and anti-inflammatory diets beneficial in preventing and reversing chronic disease.

Want to stay in the loop?

Sign up to our newsletter