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Thirty-three percent of nearly 800,000 Korean-Americans live in California , the fifth largest Asian subgroup in the United States  that may increase to 1.3 million by 2000 . To be effective counselors and policy makers, health practitioners need to understand cultural food habits, health-related values, and illnesses in this population [4-8].
Korean cooking retains distinctive characteristics despite influences of several other Asian cuisines . Traditional diets include 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, and supper) plus snacks [3,9-12]. Diets include steamed rice, noodles, and broth garnished with shellfish, meat, and/or vegetables . Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage dish sometimes with fish, is eaten with meals . Fresh fruit, soybean products, legumes, and nuts are consumed . Beverages include ginseng tea and barley water. Milk and other dairy products are not part of the traditional Korean diet .
Korean health beliefs embrace traditional shamanism, herbal remedies, and Chinese and Western medical treatment modalities . Ancient therapies include ginseng, which is believed to be an aphrodisiac that promotes health, strength, and happiness . Hanbang, a traditional Korean health modality similar to Chinese herbal therapies, and acupuncture are available also .
The objective of this study was to collect demographic data on frequency and prevalence of traditional Korean dietary health practices and health beliefs.
Sample and Questionnaire
The survey tool was assessed for its face validity by nutrition professionals familiar with research on cultural values and diets before its use to investigate dietary habits, health beliefs, and demographic characteristics of Korean-American subjects. A food frequency list of 42 popular Korean and American foods was adapted from Sanjur . The survey was presented in either English or Korean. Elderly subjects unable to complete the questionnaire were interviewed in their preferred language. Subjects were recruited by 1 of the authors from groups of attendees at Korean churches and community centers in San Francisco, California.
The data were analyzed using the Epi-Info statistical package (version 6.02, 1995, Bethesda, Md). T tests or ANOVA were used with continuous variables, tests were used to analyze categorical variables [[chi].sup.2] . Results were considered …