199635 A New Measure of Alcohol Density

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garland L. Brinkley, CPH, MPH, PhD , Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Introduction: Alcohol density is normally measured as the number of retail establishments selling alcohol. However, the quantity of alcohol available should be measured in both a locational context (number of establishments) and by concentration (amount of alcohol within each retail establishment). Food metrics, for example, assess both the number and type of outlet (supermarkets versus fast food). This implies that a simple numbers measure is intrinsically flawed and incomplete.

Methods: This study measures alcohol concentrations (AC) within 4 distinct types of retail outlets Supermarkets, Liquor, Convenience, and Drug stores. We construct an alcohol concentration index by dividing the linear feet of shelf space within each type of establishment by the total square footage with additional subdivisions by the type of alcohol beverage beer, wine, and spirits. Data was collected by graduate students and faculty from Touro University in the summer of 2007 for a total of 100 retail establishments in 4 California cities Vallejo, Modesto, San Francisco, and Danville including the socio-economic characteristics of each city. Analysis was multiple regressions using SPSS.

Results: Surprisingly, cities with higher income have higher ACs than poorer cities. Beer has the AC, but not the highest per ethanol ounce. Liquor stores have the AC but some drug stores had substantially higher indexes.

Conclusion: When public policies are implemented for restricting the quantity of alcohol in order to limit the damage from alcohol abuse, the concentration of alcohol within each outlet should be an important part of the regulatory debate.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the Method of Measuring Alcohol Density in a Community

Keywords: Alcohol, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Health Economics, MPH from UC Berkeley in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 3 years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Alchol Research at PRC and ARG.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.