The Effectiveness of Limiting Alcohol Outlet Density As a Means of Reducing Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol-Related Harms

Community Guide Branch of the National Center for Health Marketing, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 12/2009; 37(6):556-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.09.028
Source: PubMed


The density of alcohol outlets in communities may be regulated to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. Studies directly assessing the control of outlet density as a means of controlling excessive alcohol consumption and related harms do not exist, but assessments of related phenomena are indicative. To assess the effects of outlet density on alcohol-related harms, primary evidence was used from interrupted time-series studies of outlet density; studies of the privatization of alcohol sales, alcohol bans, and changes in license arrangements-all of which affected outlet density. Most of the studies included in this review found that greater outlet density is associated with increased alcohol consumption and related harms, including medical harms, injury, crime, and violence. Primary evidence was supported by secondary evidence from correlational studies. The regulation of alcohol outlet density may be a useful public health tool for the reduction of excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.

Download full-text


Available from: Robert Alfred Hahn
    • "The density of outlets refers to the number of alcohol supply points in a given area per capita of a geographic population (Livingston et al., 2007). Higher density of alcohol outlets in communities has been associated with greater rates of adult alcohol-related harms (Campbell et al., 2009; Popova et al., 2009). It has also been associated with increased rates of adolescent alcohol consumption (Rowland et al. 2013), parental supply of alcohol to adolescents (Rowland et al., 2013), and adolescents' purchasing of alcohol (Chen et al., 2009; Rowland et al., 2015). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Higher density of alcohol outlets has been linked to increased levels of adolescent alcohol-related behaviour. Research to date has been cross-sectional. A longitudinal design using two waves of annual survey data from the Australian arm of the International Youth Development Study was used. The sample comprised 2835 individuals with average age at wave 2 of 14 years (SD=1.67; range=11-17 years). GSEM was used to examine how absolute levels of alcohol outlet density was associated with student-reported alcohol use one year later, while controlling for prior alcohol use, risk factors at wave one and changes in density over the 2 years. Adolescents' perception of alcohol availability and friends' alcohol use were tested as potential mediators of the association between alcohol outlet density and adolescent alcohol use. Elasticity modelling identified a 10% increase in overall density at wave one was associated with an approximately 17% increase in odds of adolescent alcohol consumption at wave two. Living in areas with a higher density of outlets was associated with a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of adolescents developing early age alcohol consumption.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Health & Place
    • "Research examining the link between the density of alcohol outlets and alcohol-related harm is expanding rapidly. While systematic reviews of this research have generally found that alcohol outlet density is associated with alcohol problems[6,7], the precise nature of the link and the mechanism of the effects remain unclear[8]. In collaboration between two research groups, Gmel, Holmes and Studer[9]systematically review research on the association of outlet density and violence published since 2009. "

    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Review
    • "We would also applaud an article giving guidelines on the conditions under which measures and statistics should be used so as to strengthen future work (e.g. the recent contribution of Fitterer and Nelson [7] on alcohol-related crime). Nonetheless, even with better designs, earlier reviews have found unexplainable contradictions in findings across studies [2] [6]. The well-designed evaluations of privatisation of liquor stores in British Columbia also demonstrate the complexity of outlet density research. "

    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Review
Show more