Evaluating the Public Debate Over Fast-Food Zoning Ordinances to Inform Efforts to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Zoning policies are a promising solution to improve the food environment in vulnerable communities, in part because they encompass a range of land use regulations that can be tailored to the specific needs of individual communities. This project will examine the extent and nature of public debates over successful and failed efforts to pass fast-food zoning policies in the United States since 2001. Key research question include: 1) What is the overall extent and scope of the public debates over successful and failed efforts to pass fast-food zoning ordinances, including an analysis of the arguments that advocates and opponents have made for and against these policies? 2) In what ways do debates over fast-food zoning policies in lower-income communities of color differ from those taking place in higher-income white communities? 3) To what extent do the public debates over zoning ordinances to improve children’s fast-food marketing environments reflect differences between the types or strength of policies according to public health criteria? Investigators will collect information about fast-food zoning ordinances, describe the context in which the policies were passed, develop public health criteria to assess the policies, and apply those criteria to a content analysis of the public debates surrounding these initiatives.
Over the past decade, communities have turned to zoning and land-use policies to restrict fast-food restaurants, and have done so for different reasons and with varied success. Investigators analyzed news coverage, legislative histories, and demographic data to understand what types of policies have been proposed, which communities have proposed them, … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More