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In the last years the promotion of alternative food supply networks has grown in many developed countries as tool of Rural Development. There are evidences about the potential beneficial role of these networks in promoting healthy eating habits becoming also an important measure of health policy. Our study explore the effect of the local food supply networks on adult Italian BMI taking into account for each individual the relative socio-economic status, the eating habits and other social behaviors. We use a cross-section of individual-level data, from the Multipurpose Survey of Households, matched with regional-level data on food outlets density and we adopt an IV estimation method to account the food stores potential endogenity. Results show that having access to alternative food supply network lead to a reduction on adult Italian BMI and contribute to improve human health. and consequently to reduce public health expenditure.


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