UK doctors are to prescribe fruit and vegetables to patients in danger of succumbing to heart disease. According to a report in The Guardian newspaper, up to 200 people in the north of England will be handed vouchers they can use to purchase produce.

Health Links, a specialist service funded by local government and health authorities in a health action zone, is operating the scheme. The vouchers, worth £6 (US$8.60) per week, can be redeemed at participating Co-op stores for fresh, tinned, frozen or dried food.

The patients to benefit from the scheme will have been recommenced by their general practitioners and will take part in an exercise regime as part of a lifestyle programme aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease, a huge killer in the UK.