According to the World Health Organization, almost one-third of the Thai population is overweight and 9% of the country is obese.
Malaysia currently holds the dubious honour of having the highest rate of obesity in Southeast Asia – but Thailand is now in second place.
In a report in the Chiang Rai Times, leading academics and medical experts set out their concerns.
Obesity is considered to be the leading cause of diabetes, heart attacks, arthritis, and a variety of other debilitating conditions.
This is even more of a burden in countries with less developed healthcare systems.
Child obesity is on the rise in Thailand
In Thailand, in particular, obesity is just as prevalent in children, with 1 in 10 children classified as overweight.
10.5 % of children under 5 are obese
This percentage is up to 13.9% for those between 6 and 14 years of age.
Both men and women are getting fatter in adults, with the highest rate of obesity among those in the 45-59 age group, followed by the 30-44 age group.
The report also found that obesity rates in rural areas are lower.
Central Thailand and Bangkok have higher concentrations, with the most important difference between the male population.
Obesity, in particular, is prevalent among Buddhist monks, with one explanation being that devout Buddhists routinely offer food, and it is rude not to accept it.
While fast food costs less in the western world and is more likely to be consumed by poorer families, the same is true in Thailand.
As a result, the rise in obesity is partially due to an increase in wages, coupled with a more sedentary lifestyle for many.
Thai men and women between the ages of 45 and 59 appear to have more earnings and those who live in urban areas. They have also been shown to have higher levels of obesity.
Health experts are now advising the public of the dangers associated with obesity, while the government has released recommendations on the daily intake of sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
Schools are expected to engage in more events for children and raising the amount of time they spend sitting at the desks.
Moreover, public health official, Amporn Bejapolpitak points out that monks need to become more involved and that the public should give them healthy food options.
‘50% of the Nations Monks are obese’
It is claimed that 50% of the nation’s monks are obese. Professor Jongiit Angkatavanich of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok expressed serious concern.
“Obesity is a ticking time bomb in our monks. Most of the monks suffer from diseases that we know are potentially preventable.”
SOURCE: Chiang Rai TimesStay updated with Samui Times by following us on Facebook.
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