past Project

Project REACH

Project REACH (Racism, Environment, and Alcohol in Central Harlem) was a study funded by the Department of Defense's Breast Cancer Research Program. Alcohol intake is a modifiable risk factor for breast cancer (unlike, family history, for example), so the factors that are associated with drinking alcohol are important for African American women's health. Research shows that Black neighborhoods bear a disproportionate burden of both alcohol advertisements and liquor stores. We investigated individual-level factors and built environment determinants of alcohol intake among African American women in Central Harlem, New York City. We found that perceptions of personally- mediated racism and exposure to outdoor advertisements for alcohol were both associated with drinking patterns suggestive of abuse or dependence on alcohol. We also found that 43% of alcohol ads fell within 500 ft. of a school, contrary to outdoor marketers purported self-regulation not to market in close proximity to areas where youth congregate.