Obesity, stunted growth in Thai kids spur worries

Obesity, stunted growth in Thai kids spur worries

The Department of Health (DoH) has expressed concerns over the growing rate of obesity and short stature among Thai children, saying this needs to be addressed urgently.

Speaking after a meeting with his officials to develop physical activity programmes to address the health issues on Wednesday, Bancha Khakong, DoH deputy director-general, said health problems facing Thai kids have become a serious issue.

Dr Bancha cited data he obtained from the Public Health Ministry which said the obesity rate of Thai children was found to be higher than the target value of 10%, saying the obesity rate of kids between 2018, 2019 and 2020 has risen to 11.8%, 13.6% and 12.78% respectively.

He said those children, who are short at the same time, were also found to exceed target obesity values by 5% to 5.7%, 8.9% and 5.9% respectively.

To address these health problems, he said the department is supporting network integration of those working in health and education.

The idea is that they they can work together to help Thai kids become aware of the importance of physical activity and nutrition, as well as getting enough sleep.

In the next fiscal year, he said the department will expedite the promotion of physical activities, such as general aerobic exercises, for children in houses, schools and communities for at least an hour a day.

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