There is an emerging consensus among public health practitioners and policymakers alike that, given the existence of shared risk factors, the treatment of food insecurity and obesity requires integrated research and policy action. Referred to as the food systems approach, this perspective applies an ecological public health model for the conceptualization of the shared food environments from which food insecurity and obesity stem, and identifies opportunities for intervention centered on the promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems. One such food systems-based intervention that has garnered significant support is the redemption of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at farmers' markets. However, the vast majority of studies that have examined the implementation of SNAP at farmers' markets have been conducted within a single market and have been designed to measure program impact, rather than the contextual determinants of program adoption and success. This study operationalizes the food systems approach and ecological model in order to examine the relationship between the implementation of SNAP at farmers' markets and macro-level physical food environment characteristics. Results indicate that the prevalence of SNAP-authorized farmers' markets is positively related to food system characteristics relating to local food production and distribution. The findings of this study contribute to the legitimacy of the food system approach and its application of an ecological public health model in the identification, formulation, and implementation of interventions designed to combat food insecurity and obesity. When enriched by the science of food environment assessment and measurement, the ecological model employed by the food systems approach provides a suitable framework for the systematic analysis of the macro-environmental context in which food systems-based interventions are implemented.
|Advisor:||Ewalt, JoAnn G.|
|Commitee:||Archie-Hudson, Marguerite, Stewart, Kendra|
|School:||College of Charleston|
|School Location:||United States -- South Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 52/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public health, Public administration, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Ecological public health, Farmers' markets, Food environment, Food insecurity and obesity, Food systems approach, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program|
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