CHEERS! Korea consumes twice as much alcohol as any country in the world, including Russia
While countries like Russia and the United States usually come to mind when alcohol consumption is discussed, the country with by far the highest intake rate is South Korea. In a recent study by Euromonitor that analyzed 44 country's alcohol rates, no other country even came close. Can you guess which drink accounts for most of this intake?
While Russians take second place for number of shots per week of any spirit at 6.3, South Korea blows them out of the water with 13.7. In comparison, Americans consume only 3.3. The popular Korean fermented rice drink called Soju accounts for the vast majority of this consumption, which makes up 97% of South Korea's alcohol market.
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While high alcohol consumption in Korea can partly be attributed to its place in the Korean work culture where it is very common for workers to feel pressured by employers and co-workers to engage in heavy drinking after work, it has become highly problematic in some cases. Along with the steep rise in alcohol consumption has come an alarming increase in outbreaks of drunken violence and public disturbances. In response, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has launched a marketing campaign aimed at reducing heavy drinking. An official at the Korean Alcohol Research Foundation stated, “A problem with the way South Koreans drink is that they drink fast to get drunk fast.”