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City Announces Fruit And Veggie Prescription Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two New York City hospitals have a new way to combat the epidemic of obesity.

Pediatricians at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx and at Harlem Hospital are writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables to at-risk youths.

Patients who receive the prescriptions get coupons for produce at local farmers markets and city green carts.

City Announces Fruit And Veggie Prescription Program

It's part of a four-month pilot program to get kids to slim down.

"This is probably going to prevent an awful lot more disease over the long-term than a lot of the medicines we tend to write for," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday in the green market outside Lincoln Medical Center.

The prescription worked for the Bronx's Tammy Fudge and her 11-year-old son, Tai-Jay. They told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond that he lost 40 pounds and significantly reduced his asthma symptoms.

"I lost the weight by eating vegetables and fruits and also exercising with my dear mother," Tai-Jay said.

Fruit and Veggie prescriptions
Mother and son at the Lincoln Medical Center Farmers Market, July 23, 2013. (credit: Annabel Lau/WCBS 880)

"We started eating right. My son has not been in the hospital at all," Tammy said.

Precious River, a shopper at the green market, told Diamond she thought the program was a start.

"[But] it starts at home. It starts at home. Because the doctor can encourage and can offer whatever, but it starts at home," she said.

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