Good news: S. Korean teens halve fast food, soda consumption

August 25, 2015
A McDonalds fast food restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. (Yonhap)

A McDonalds fast food restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. (Yonhap)

By Jhoo Dong-chan

South Korean teenagers almost halved the amount of fast food they consume compared to a decade ago, a study showed Tuesday.

According to the study by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 16.5 percent of teenage boys said last year they had fast food, such as hamburger or pizza, at least three times over the past seven days. That was a drop from 31.2 percent in 2005.

For girls, the ratio also decreased, from 29.8 to 14.5 percent during the same period.

“We believe public interest in health and diet among teenagers has led to the decrease in fast food consumption,” a KCDC official said.

Likewise, the consumption of soda declined during the same period: for boys, from 59.7 to 32.3 percent; and for girls, from 45.3 to 19.1 percent.

In the meantime, about three out of 10 teenagers skip breakfast, about the same as 10 years earlier.

In 2014, 28.2 percent of boys said they skipped breakfast at least five of the previous seven days, a slight increase from 2005′s 26.4 percent. For girls, the ratio also rose slightly, from 28 to 28.9 percent.

When asked why they skip breakfast, they said because they did not have time to eat in the morning or had no appetite.

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