Korean Americans are the heaviest and most frequent binge drinkers among Asian Americans, according to a study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and a team led by Lee Hae-kook at Catholic University Medical Center.
Among 8,900 adults of five ethnic groups who participated in the survey, 51.8 percent of Korean Americans said they drink at least once a month, putting themselves ahead of Japanese (49.7 percent), Chinese (42 percent), Filipinos (37.9 percent) and Indians (34 percent).
Additionally, 24.6 percent of Korean Americans said they drink more than five glasses of alcohol in one sitting, two to three times more than other Asian Americans.
The gap between genders was also the narrowest among Koreans. Assuming that the drinking rate for Korean women was set at one, the rate for Korean men was 1.5. On the contrary, the rate for Chinese Americans was 1:2.85, 1:3.4 among Japanese, 1:3.58 among Filipinos, and 1:5.04 among Indians.
The study also suggested that the traditional Korean culture — which widely condones drinking — has similarly affected Korean Americans as well.