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Thai health officials worried about growing number of fat kids

Flickr/the foreign photographer - ฝรั่งถ่

One in ten Thai children is now considered obese, according to a report from the country’s Department of Health. The data shows that over 9% of children under the age of 5 are considered overweight and that percentage increases to 13.4% in children aged 6–14 and 13.2% in those aged 15-18.

Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai from the Department of Health says parents must act to provide a healthier diet for children, who are currently exposed to unhealthy levels of fat, sugar, and salt. The latest report indicates that things will only get worse unless parents and teachers act now to increase nutritional awareness among children.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the World Obesity Federation says rates of childhood obesity are likely to double between 2020 and 2035. Another report shows that a third of Thai children eat sugary snacks and drink sweetened beverages every day, with nearly 30% of children allowed to choose the food they eat themselves.

Dr Suwannachai is calling on parents to take more responsibility for choosing the foods their children consume.

“Children often make bad choices when left to choose what to eat, which is only made worse by the marketing strategies of confectionery manufacturers. Parents and schools should teach them how to select good food and the consequences to their health a poor diet can pose.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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