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Korea - Rice Consumption Falls in 2005
National per-capita rice consumption shrank 1.6 percent to 80.7 kilograms last year, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said Tuesday.

A recent tally by the NSO showed that per-capita rice consumption decreased by 1.3 kilograms in 2005 from a year earlier largely because of a change in lifestyle that forced working Koreans to skip breakfasts or dine out.

The average daily per-capita rice consumption stood at 221.2 grams last year, meaning that Koreans consumed less than two bowls of rice per day, the NSO said.

The statistics also showed that Koreans skipped two meals per month on average because of busy work schedules or health and appearance reasons.

Korean females aged between 20 and 29 years skipped five meals a month on average.

``Korea’s per-capita rice consumption has dropped significantly since 1990 when it reached 119.6 kilograms. The figure contracted constantly from 88.9 kilograms in 2001 to 87 kilograms in 2002, 83.2 kilograms in 2003 and 82 kilograms in 2004,’’ said NSO director Hyun Young-ki.

``Nevertheless, Korea still consumes more rice than Japan and Taiwan,’’ the director said.

The NSO said the average Japanese consumes 61.9 kilograms of rice a year while the average Taiwanese consumes 61.9 kilograms.

Hyun said the constant decline in national rice consumption has increased the government’s concerns over the growing cost of managing mounting rice stockpiles bought from local farmers and rice exporting countries.

However, the NSO said Korea’s consumption of vegetables and fruits has increased from previous years thanks to the rapid spread of healthy diets and lifestyles.
MGR Archive 11.1.2006
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