Thais don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables daily


BANGKOK, Jan 16 – Inadequate daily intakes of fruit and vegetables among some 75 per cent of Thai nationals could increase their risk of getting chronic diseases.

Mahidol University Nutrition Institute director Dr Visith Chavasit said at a conference on Thursday that a majority of Thais eat a diet that contains less fruit and vegetables than the minimum level recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at 400 grams a day.

Studies found 76.2 per cent of Thai nationals above age 15 consumed greens in lesser amounts than the official serving size of about one-third of the total food portion, while 71.8 per cent consume fruit less than half WHO’s recommendation.

The imbalanced consumption of vegetables and fruit in Thailand has resulted in more Thai people getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and cardiac-related diseases, cancer and many others.

A number of studies have found that daily intake of at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day could help reduce risk of heart disease by 33 per cent and cancer by 50 per cent when compared with those who consumed less than the recommended amount.

Despite the ongoing campaign to promote more consumption of vegetables and fruit, Thai people tend to eat less greens due to behavioral change. People are more likely opting for fast food, resulting in an imbalanced intake of fruit and vegetables every day.