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Friday, September 28, 2012

Exposure of African-American Youth to Alcohol Advertising, 2008 and 2009

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to approximately 4,700 deaths among underage youth each year, and in 2006 resulted in approximately $27 billion in economic costs.1,2 Among African-American high school students nearly 65 percent report having had at least a sip of alcohol and an estimated 25 percent report drinking alcohol for the first time before age 13.3 Alcohol is the most widely used drug among African-American youth3 and contributes to many health and social problems, including violence, motor vehicle crashes, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.4,5 The relationship between alcohol use and violence in African-American youth is bidirectional: Early alcohol use predicts later violent behavior,6 and early violent behavior predicts later alcohol use.7

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), about one in three African-American high school students in the U.S. are current drinkers, and about 40 percent of those who drink report binge drinking (≥ 5 drinks in a row).3 Alcohol use by youth is also known to be strongly related to alcohol use in adulthood. While current alcohol use and binge drinking tend to be less common among African-American adults than among other racial and ethnic groups, African-American adults who binge drink (≥ 4 drinks per occasion for women and ≥ 5 per occasion for men) tend to do so frequently (4.7 episodes per month) and with high intensity (number of drinks, 6.8 drinks per occasion).8 African-American adults also report higher levels of alcohol-related social consequences (relationship, employment, financial, and legal problems),9 with no evidence of any protective effect from light or moderate alcohol consumption,10,11 and a high prevalence of alcohol-related disease morbidity and mortality, including cardiovascular disease and hypertension.12   > > > >  Read More