From 2005 to 2006, staff at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health conducted a health impact assessment to investigate how public markets affect the health of communities. As its study site, staff selected the 60-year-old Trenton Farmers' Market in Trenton, N.J.
Health impact assessment is a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating the positive and negative health effects of policies and programs that are outside traditional public health concerns, such as urban development projects.
In Health Impact Assessment of Modifications to the Trenton Farmers' Market, project team members identified five pathways through which changes to the market could impact health (nutrition, physical activity, economics, social capital and public health services). They then analyzed three alternative policy scenarios for their impact in these areas:
The project team concluded that: