UW-Madison UW-Madison

Staff Paper No. 571 - Abstract

Local Foods and Community Health: An Exploratory Analysis

Steven C. Deller [scdeller@wisc.edu]
Laura Brown
Amber Canto

Staff Paper No. 571, February 2014, 37p.


In this exploratory analysis we look for patterns in the relationship between local foods and community health using U.S. nonmetropolitan counties. We take an ecological approach using 2007 Census of Agriculture and “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps” data collected by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute program at the U.S. county level. In addition to the central question (are higher concentrations of characteristics of local food systems associated with healthier communities) we address the question of health modeling uncertainty by use a Spatial Bayesian Model Averaging (SBMA). As expected, our findings indicate that higher levels of activities associated with local foods are generally associated with higher levels of community health. Two problems with the analysis are (1) challenges around definitions and measurement of local foods and (2) direction of causation is unclear.
Last updated on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 12:00pm