Thai children getting fatter, survey finds

Thai children getting fatter, survey finds

Taken in 2007 at a promotion by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, photo shows three overweight children joining a campaign against fizzy drinks. Since then, under ThaiHealth supervision, the number of obese and overweight Thai children has increased fivefold. (File photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Taken in 2007 at a promotion by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, photo shows three overweight children joining a campaign against fizzy drinks. Since then, under ThaiHealth supervision, the number of obese and overweight Thai children has increased fivefold. (File photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Weight issues and obesity are two of the biggest health problems facing Thai children, according to a recent survey.

Please join us on our Facebook page

Obesity rife among kids, survey finds

Post Reporters

Weight issues and obesity are two of the biggest health problems facing Thai children
– a trend that could cause Thailand to miss its target of improving nutrition and achieving food security by 2030, according to a recent survey.

The survey on Thailand's status regarding the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), carried out by the National Statistics Office and the National Economic and Social Development board, found problems of being overweight and obese among Thai children aged under five increased two-fold to 10.9% between 2015 and 2016.

Thailand's status on meeting the SDGs was also published in a recently-released progress report that provides an overview of the world's implementation efforts to date, highlighting areas of progress and areas where more action needs to be taken to ensure no one is left behind.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Friday launched the latest findings of the 2017 Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition during the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition.

According to its findings, globally, the percentage of children aged under five who are overweight increased to 6% in 2014. If current trends continue, the SDG objective will be largely missed by 2030.

Being overweight is a growing problem affecting nearly every region, it said.

"Globally, 41 million children in this age group are overweight; almost half of them live in Asia. In Southeast Asia, the prevalence of overweight children under five years increased from 3.2% in 2000 to 7.4% in 2014," the report said.

The Department of Public Health of Thailand also reported that one of every five pre-school children have an obesity problem and that weight problems and obesity should be considered a national agenda item.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, as the FAO's Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger in the region, on Friday called upon 250 participants including parliamentarians, policy-makers, academics, researchers, students, civil society members, representatives from the private sector and development partners from countries across the region to work together to find solutions.

She said better efforts were needed to enable better production, processing and distribution of food, as well as more effective ways to promote better nutrition and healthier diets throughout food systems.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • academics (noun): connected with education, especially studying in schools and universities - วิชาการ
  • agenda: a list of things to be discussed - กำหนดการ, วาระ
  • civil: non-government - พลเรือน
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • development: the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา
  • diet: the food and drink usually taken by a person or group - อาหาร, สิ่งที่กินได้
  • distribution: the process of giving something out to many different places - การแจกจ่าย
  • effective: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
  • efforts (noun): attempts to do something - ความพยายาม
  • enable: to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • globally: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก
  • goals (noun): aims; purposes - เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
  • Goodwill Ambassador (noun): a well-known and respected person who supports a particular organization or cause -
  • highlight: to make something more noticeable - เน้น,ทำให้เด่น
  • implementation: the process of making something such as a plan, system, idea or law start to work and be used - การบังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย)
  • improve: to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น
  • issues (noun): problems that need to be considered - ประเด็น
  • launch (verb): to start something - เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ
  • National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) (noun): NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Board or "Sa-pa-pat") - Thai government planning agency for economic development, creates five year plans with an agenda of: 1. Alleviation of Poverty and Income Distribution problems, 2. Enhancing Thailand’s Competitiveness, 3. Promoting Social Capital Development, 4. Promoting Sustainable Development (Source: Wikipedia) - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการพัฒนาการเศรษฐกิจและสังคมแห่งชาติ
  • nutrition: food considered as something that keeps you healthy - โภชนาการ
  • obese (adj.): very fat; extremely over-weight - อ้วน
  • obesity: being overweight, which can have a negative effect on health -
  • objective (noun): what you plan to achieve; goal; aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย
  • overview: a description or picture of the main features of something - การดูคร่าวๆ, การอธิบายคร่าวๆ
  • overweight (adj): fat - อ้วน
  • parliamentarian: a member of parliament - สมาชิกรัฐสภา
  • participants (noun): people who take part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
  • partner (noun): two people, businesses, organizations, etc that work together on some project or business - ผู้ร่วมมือ, ผู้ร่วมกระทำ
  • percentage (noun): an amount divided by 100 - อัตราร้อยละ, จำนวนร้อยละ, อัตราต่อหนึ่งร้อย
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • prevalence: how often something happens or how common it is; predominance, pervasiveness - ความแพร่หลาย, ความดื่นดาษ, prevalence of disease ความชุกของโรค
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • processing (noun): adding chemicals or other substances to food, for example to keep it fresh for a long time - การแปรสภาพ
  • production: the process of growing or making food, goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต
  • progress: the process of developing or of getting nearer to achieving or completing something - ความคืบหน้า
  • promote: to encourage or support something - สนับสนุน
  • public health (noun): the health of all the people in a country, city or community and their health issues; also the name of a government department - การสาธารณสุข
  • publish: to make something available to the public through books, magazines, the Internet, etc. - เผยแพร่, จัดพิมพ์
  • regional: of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค
  • researchers (noun): people who carry out a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - นักวิจัย
  • rife: very common or frequent - มีอยู่ทั่วไป,แพร่หลาย
  • security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
  • solutions (noun): ways of solving problems or dealing with difficult situations - วิธีแก้ปัญหา
  • statistics: a collection of information shown in numbers - สถิติ
  • status: position - สถานภาพ
  • survey: the act of asking for and recording information - การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล
  • sustainable: able to be successfully continued for a long time - ยั่งยืน, ถาวร
  • symposium (noun): about a particular subject; a small conference - การประชุมสัมมนา, การประชุมอภิปราย
  • system (noun): a particular way of doing something; an organised set of ideas or theories - ระบบ, หลักการ
  • target: something you want to achieve; a particular number or amount that you want to achieve - เป้าหมาย
  • to date: until now -
  • trend: a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
  • two-fold (adj): two times, by a factor of 2 - 2 เท่า
  • United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (noun): A United Nations agency working in the area of food security, poverty elimination and sustainable development -
Do you like the content of this article?