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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary
food production, as well as to increase physical activity. Other studies have looked at the effects of using local government subsidies to encourage the opening of retail outlets that carry healthy foods: for example, if housing prices increase as a result, the tax base grows and the public investment has a positive fiscal return. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, retail leverage generation (planning gain) is considered a tool to improve the local economy through providing employment and upgrading public facilities such as sidewalks and other infrastructure. Despite concerns about the impact of a large store on smaller Glasgow retailers, the same number of small stores were in business 18 months later in the area that Cummins studied.
To close the session, Diez Roux emphasized the need for interdisciplinary research among epidemiologists, geographers, economists, and urban planners. Reedy expressed agreement on behalf of the other panelists and workshop participants.