Healthy menu being promoted by Health Department to reduce obesity


BANGKOK, 26 April 2012  – As the number of people with obesity in Thailand who are suffering from chronic diseases has more than tripled during the past decade, Department of Health Director General Dr. Somyos Dirasami has decided to launch a health campaign to promote a healthy life style among Thai people. 

The objective of the campaign is to encourage Thais to eat foods that are low in sodium, sugar and oil. The campaign has been piloted at Prajaksilpakhom Camp Hospital in Udon Thani to improve the health of their patients.

Prajaksilpakhom Camp Hospital has been nominated a prototype learning center on healthy menus for other hospitals to follow since 2008. The obesity studies conducted during 2003-2004 and 2008-2009 found that the numbers of women and men having obesity rose from 34.4% to 40.7% and from 22.5-28.4% respectively.

Obesity is the cause of many health issues such as coronary heart disease and hypertension. In 2009, the number of obese patients suffering from heart disease and stroke grew four-fold to 558,000 compared to the previous decade. Patients with hypertension also rose 3.8 times. Those chronic diseases had cost the government 302 billion baht on health bills.

Dr. Somyos further stated that, besides hospitals, over 10,600 restaurants have participated in the campaign to create healthy menus for consumers. He said it is hoped that with more choices of healthy menus for Thai people, the obesity rate in Thailand will decline.