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.
Evaluating the Public Debate Over Fast-Food Zoning Ordinances to Inform Efforts to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Fast-Food Fights: News Coverage of Local Efforts to Improve Food Environments Through Land-Use Regulations, 2000-2013
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 Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. … More
Federal food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are the first line of defense against food insecurity in the United States. However, these benefits are often not sufficient to meet all of the food needs of … More