Start Date: December 2012

ID #: 70548

Principal Investigator: Lori Dorfman, DrPH

Organization: Public Health Institute

Funding Round: Round 7

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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.

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