Structural racism in the built environment: Segregation and the overconcentration of alcohol outlets

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Structural racism, evidenced in practices like residential racial segregation, has been linked to health inequities. We examined the relationship between an adverse environmental factor (alcohol outlet overconcentration), segregated neighborhoods, and county alcohol policy in Louisiana and Alabama to investigate this link. Multilevel analysis revealed high outlet density associated with segregated counties and predominantly black census tracts in counties with restrictive alcohol policy. This inverse association between policies designed to limit alcohol availability and overconcentration of outlets in black neighborhoods warrants consideration by policymakers given links between outlet density and health inequities. Consideration of these findings in historical context suggests these policies may function as a contemporary actualization of the historical use of alcohol policy to subjugate black people in the South, now over-concentrating instead of prohibiting access.

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Health & place

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