Urban Alcohol Environment: A Study on the Availability, Promotion and Visibility of Consumption in Neighborhoods of Barcelona
This paper describes the presence of alcohol in the public space, assessing establishments that offer it, its advertising, and signs of consumption, as factors that may influence its consumption.
Descriptive observational study based on cluster sampling with two-step selection. Results are described, and the spatial association between variables is assessed.
In the 20 census tracts studied, 306 premises were identified that offered alcoholic beverages: 204 were on-premises and 102 were off-premises, mainly supermarkets and food retail stores. Their spatial distribution was uneven, concentrated in two central districts. The study identified 72 publicity items, mostly sponsorship of musical events. There were many promotional items linked to on- premises, especially in their terraces. Five people were detected promoting consumption or selling alcohol in the Old Town. In each time slot, between 39 and 51 signs of consumption on the public space were observed (mostly abandoned beer cans), more frequent at night and in the Old Town. There is an association between the presence of establishments that offer alcohol and advertising. There is no relationship between these variables and signs of consumption in the public space; these are concentrated in the Old Town, which has greater presence of tourism.
The urban environment is characterized by elements that stimulate alcohol use and its distribution is uneven, with a strong influence of tourism-related activities. Further regulation of alcohol promotion, availability and consumption in the public space may change its social image and decrease its use.