Estimation of High-Risk Drinkers and Drinking Behavior in Korea - Focusing on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) and Korean Statistical Information Service Data -

  • Hwang, Seonghee (School of Food & Nutrition Science for Bioindustry, Semyung University)
  • Received : 2020.01.13
  • Accepted : 2020.02.06
  • Published : 2020.02.29


Objectives: This study investigated the average number of drinkers in Korea, the number of high-risk drinkers, the average amount of alcohol consumed by high-risk drinkers, and the types of alcohol consumed according to the characteristics of the group of dependent drinkers. Methods: The results were obtained by analyzing the following data: The Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health; Country Profile 2014; WHO Country Profile 2014; Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2014, Korean Statistical Information Service; National Tax Statistics-Liquor Tax; Gallup Drinking Frequency Survey 2015 Results: This study found that a large proportion of drinkers in Korea are already high-risk drinkers, and even among drinkers, alcohol consumption was highly biased. It was reported that 49.8% of men in the problem, abuse, and dependence groups accounted for 92.4% of total alcohol consumption among the male population. Notably, the 9.6% of men making up the dependent group consumed more than 30% of the alcohol ingested among males. Women had significant variations within groups that were considered high-risk and exhibited a large share of alcohol consumption in the problem (10.0% of the female population), abuse (1.8% of the female population), and dependence (1.5% of the female population) groups, constituting 72.8% of total alcohol consumption. The average amount of alcohol consumed by drinkers in Korea seems to have exceeded the level of intake by high-risk groups. Alcohol-dependent groups consumed 900.7 mL of soju, 405.2 mL of table wine, and 2,043.8 mL of beer, which is very similar to the consumption average of 2,031 mL of beer and 895.2 mL of soju in the drinking group. Conclusion: It has been shown that men's dependence on alcohol is serious, and it is possible to infer that alcohol consumption in some vulnerable groups is very high. As the average alcohol intake among alcohol-dependent groups and ordinary drinkers is very similar, it is highly likely that the drinker is an alcohol-dependent consumer in Korea.


Supported by : Semyung University


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