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Outdoor alcohol advertising and problem drinking among African-American women in NYC
Date:1/12/2009

dy. "This finding is significant for public health because residents in the study area were highly exposed to alcohol advertisements, and the associations between exposure and outcome persisted after we controlled for other potential causes of problem drinking."

"Because we did not assess participants' perceptions about the advertising content, or how salient it was for them, the mechanisms by which outdoor advertisements affected problem drinking remain unknown," suggests Ilan Meyer, PhD, associate professor of clinical Sociomedical Sciences and a co-author of the article. "Advertisements may prime people for alcohol consumption, and in turn, high levels of consumption may increase the risk for abuse and dependence."

"Advertisements also may increase the likelihood of problematic drinking patterns among individuals who are already susceptible. That is, individuals who are at risk for, or already contending with, alcohol abuse or dependence may be more likely to continue this behavior in an environment where cues that promote alcohol use are prominent," notes Dr. Meyer. The Mailman School team believes that future study is needed to further investigate possible pathways to problem drinking and the role that exposure to advertisements may play in causing drinking problems.

Dr. Kwate also noted that according to other earlier research, residents often perceive these advertisements to be unfairly marketed toward African American individuals and represent a deliberate targeting scheme for products that damage health. "Thus, to the extent that these advertisements are perceived as manifestations of racism, they may increase the odds of problem drinking," she says.


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Contact: stephanie berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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