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Koreans' Diet Pattern Slowly Becomes Westernized With More Meat Consumption, Study Says

By January 28, 2016 at 11:24 am
Koreans' Diet Pattern Slowly Becomes Westernized With More Meat Consumption (Photo : Ethan Miller | Getty Images Entertainment)

SOUTH KOREA - Home to one of the world's five healthiest foods (kimchi), South Korea boasts of its distinct cuisine, serving a variety of main and side dishes that are largely based on rice, vegetables and meat. However, a new study revealed that Koreans' diet pattern has slowly been influenced by westerners as they consume more meat than crops, fruits and vegetables.

Based on the January 27 report entitled, "2016 Farming Economy Forecast," presented by the Korea Rural Economic Institute, the population's meat consumption, which includes beef, chicken and pork, had been consistently increasing for the past two decades, causing a change of Koreans' diet pattern.

Looking at the meat consumption for each Korean citizen, the report revealed that it had gone up from 27.4 kilograms in 1995 to 45.8 kilograms in 2014, having an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent.

The country's consumption of seven major crops - barley, beans corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice and wheat - on the other hand, had apparently dropped at a rate of 1.5 percent annually from 1995 to 2014, as stated in the article of The Korea Economic Daily.

Moreover, the annual consumption of crops by each person had also declined from 191.7 kilograms to 143.5 kilograms during the 20-year period.

Koreans' diet pattern had also changed when it came to their consumption of fruits and vegetables during the same period.

From 46.6 kilograms, the fruit consumption (based on six major fruits: apples, grapes, peaches, pears, persimmons and tangerines) per person fell to 43.7 kilograms. However, their average intake of bananas and oranges has climbed up to 13.3 kg from 4.8 kg, with annual growth rate of 5.4 percent.

Their consumption of vegetables (based on five major vegetables: garlic, napa cabbage, onions, radish and red pepper) had gone down from 131.3 kilograms to 123.5 kilograms.

With the Koreans' diet pattern slowly being influenced by the westerners due to meat consumption, the Korea Rural Economic Institute projected that the average intake of the major crops would further go down to 126.6 kg by 2025.

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