Sugary drinks key cause of ailments
Thai people's addiction to beverages with a high sugar content remains a prime cause of serious health problems, despite a recent health survey showing eating behaviour has improved, Deputy Prime Minister Narong Pipatanasai says.
Speaking at a news briefing yesterday at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) in Bangkok, Adm Narong said despite Thais' eating habits improving, most are still at risk of obesity and diabetes due to excessive sugar consumption.
"Compared with a health study conducted in 2009, eating behaviour among Thais is improving amid a fall in alcohol consumption and a decline in smoking. However, we are still concerned about people's daily consumption of food items with a heavy sugar content," Adm Narong said.
- Earlier report: Addicted to sugary drinks
"In Thailand, the prevalence of obesity in women has remained higher than men in recent years. Recent figures show Thai women on average are the second fattest in Asia, after China, while women in Japan and Hong Kong are less obese," he said.
Of Thailand's population of 68 million people, Adm Naraong said 19 million are overweight and 7.7 million are at risk of serious health diseases such as diabetes.
"About 43% of diabetes patients do not even know they suffer from the disease," he said.
The survey also found the amount of sugary drinks consumed by children aged 10-14 has increased.
"Parents will play a key role in helping us reduce unhealthy dietary risks among kids. We will come up with a campaign to educate parents and their children about dietary fats soon," he said.