Seven out of 10 Korean males and three out of 10 females drink alcohol every day, a survey showed Monday. About 8 percent of them drink an average of 40 grams of alcohol per session, equivalent to five glasses of soju distilled alcohol made from grain a day.
According to Prof. Park Jong-tae and Chung Hyung-jun of Korea University medical Center, about 72 percent of 3,578 male respondents and 32 percent of 4,298 female respondents in Korea drink alcohol seven times a week.
The older or the less educated they were, the chances of their drinking heavily were higher. In the case of males, the earlier a man started to drink, the more often he drank. The researchers also found that those who tend to binge drink were also more likely to drink often.
The drinkers themselves often perceived their drinking as a problem _ about 27 percent of men and 12 percent of women answered that they have a serious drinking problem.
Both groups said they feel they should quit drinking; are always being criticized for it; feel guilty about their drinking behavior; or always have to eat something to deal with a hangover.
'In Canada, only about 5.8 percent said they had a problem with drinking in a similar study. Now that people know it is a problem, society should help them solve it,' Park said.
Drinking has been a major concern in Korea for quite a long time. According to the National Tax Service, about 3.29 million kiloliters of liquor were consumed here last year, up 3.8 percent from 2006. The figure is equivalent to 72 bottles of soju or 107 bottles of beer per adult.
According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking eight or nine glasses of soju can double the risk of hypertension or diabetes.
The center suggested in 2005 that at most a man should drink less than two glasses of soju, and a woman one glass three times a week.
source: Korea Times