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Farmers’ Market Usage, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Meals at Home and Health–Evidence from Washington, DC

Xiaochu Hu (), Lorraine W. Clarke () and Kamran Zendehdel ()
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Xiaochu Hu: Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Lorraine W. Clarke: Department of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD 20774, USA
Kamran Zendehdel: Center for Sustainable Development, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC 20008, USA

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 13, 1-14

Abstract: Using a survey of 440 residents in Washington, DC metropolitan area conducted in 2018, we empirically examined the causal relationship between farmers’ market usage and indicators of health, such as fruit and vegetable consumption, meal preparation time, meals away from home, and body mass index (BMI). On average, we found that a one percent increase in farmers’ market usage increases consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption by 6.5 percent ( p < 0.01) and daily time spent on meal preparing by 9.4 percent ( p < 0.05). These impacts were enhanced by 2SLS models with instrumental variables which indicates causal effects. Farmers’ market usage is also associated with decreased amount of meals away from home ( p < 0.05). We also found qualitative evidence that shopping at farmers’ markets improves access to and increases consumption of healthy food. However, we did not find that farmers’ market usage has statistical association with grocery shopper’s body mass index. Our study established causality that farmers’ market usage positively impacts consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption and meals at home. It provided concrete evidence for interventions aiming to increase dietary consumption and promote healthy eating habits through farmers’ markets.

Keywords: famers market; fruit and vegetable consumption; meals away from home; body mass index; food environment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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