Dept takes aim at sugar intake
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Dept takes aim at sugar intake

The Department of Health is working with the private sector to improve the public's food literacy through a project that will see participating restaurants cut back on the amount of sugar they use amid growing concerns about the nation's expanding waistlines.

Suwannachai Watthanayingcharoenchai, the department's chief, said yesterday staff had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IMPACT company to create a healthier food and beverage menu by cutting the amount of sugar they use in their food and beverages by 5%.

"Such cooperation is needed to improve public awareness about the link between food and beverage consumption and good health," Dr Suwannachai said.

He said excessive sugar intake is taking a toll on the health of many Thais, with obesity becoming a major problem in the country.

According to a Body Mass Index (BMI) survey carried out by the Health Systems Research Institute in 2019, only 36% of respondents aged over 15 years reported BMIs within the normal range, while over 37% of respondents in the same age bracket were classified as overweight or obese.

Also, about 9% of respondents aged over 15 suffered from diabetes, while 27.70% had high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, Pol Kanchanapas, CEO of Bangkok Land Plc, which owns IMPACT group, said his company would ensure healthy ingredients are used in all of its food businesses as part of the agreement.

The company has opened the EASE Café by IMPACT@Kroi Anamai, which caters for those who are more health conscious, in a bid to promote a healthier menu, he said.

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