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Officials working to reduce sugar intake in Thailand amid growing health concerns

Flickr/Sidney Khoo

Thailand’s Department of Health says it’s working with the private sector in a bid to raise awareness of the health risks associated with too much sugar. Department chief Suwannachai Watthanayingcharoenchai says the new project aims to improve the public’s understanding, with participating restaurants cutting back on the amount of sugar they use in their dishes.

The project has been launched amid growing concern about expanding waistlines in Thailand and the health implications of too much sugar. Health department officials have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IMPACT company to design a healthier food and drinks menu, cutting the amount of sugar used by 5%.

The IMPACT group is owned by Bangkok Land Plc, with CEO Pol Kanchanapas saying his firm will ensure all of its food businesses will use healthy ingredients. The company runs the EASE Café, targeting health-conscious diners with a healthy food and drinks menu.

Suwannachai welcomes the firm’s partnership with the Department of Health, pointing out that rising sugar consumption in Thailand is damaging people’s health, leading to a potential obesity crisis.

“Such cooperation is needed to improve public awareness about the link between food and beverage consumption and good health.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that in 2019, a survey carried out by the Health Systems Research Institute showed that only 36% of respondents over the age of 15 had a normal body mass index.

Over 37% fell into the overweight or obese category, while around 9% had diabetes and nearly 28% suffered with high blood pressure.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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