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, and why. They identified 77 communities that proposed 100 separate fast food land-use policies between 2001 and 2013. Eighty of the policies were proposed to protect community aesthetics, while nutrition was the rationale for only 20 policies. Communities with more residents of color and larger, urban communities were more likely than majority-white communities to propose land-use policies focused on improving nutrition. Smaller, more affluent communities were more likely to pass land-use policies to preserve community appearance. Health-focused policies were subject to more criticism than other policies and were generally less successful; only 35 percent of nutrition-focused policies passed compared to 78 percent of other policies.
Fast-Food Fights: News Coverage of Local Efforts to Improve Food Environments Through Land-Use Regulations, 2000-2013
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 … 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