Obesity Among Thai Children

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Miss. Nutchanun Chaisri

Obesity among Thai Children

The numbers of obese children in Thailand are wondering! Refer to the World Health Organization report, Thailand is appropriate example of obesity problem. The obesity among Thai children, ages 5 to 12 in year 2004 – 2006 to nearly 16 percent – 4 percent increase from only a couple of years ago, or are rage to 1 million people1. It mentions that, the obesity trend in Thai children growth up faster than other countries in Asia. Obesity problem has effected to Thai children for the past decade. It becomes a serious public health problem. Associated with the research of Ladda Morhsuwan, MD, Faculty of Medicine Prince Songkla University, she has been researched 1,373 children in Tessabarn Had Yai School. She found that the rates of overweight children are 11.5 percent. Moreover this statistic is higher than Japan. Ladda mentioned to the cause of problem, it is the way of life in urbanization. Children always spend more time watching television, playing video games and computer, and in the same time, they are snacking junk food together2. It is the same opinion with Bhonchita chaiumnuai, MD, Faculty of Medicine Phramongkutklao Hospital. She blamed to the children and teens have less activity to do in each day, so they lack of exercise2. However from many ideas of researcher, it can conclude that the factors which effect to obese problem among Thai children are eating habit, way of life and technologies.

Eating habit is the primary cause of obese in children. Children always eat wrong proportion of nutrient, and eat more than necessity. Moreover the Thai eating habit is replaced by western eating habit for example; they eat spaghetti or pizza in the fast food shop instead of eats mackerel chili sauce with vegetable stream at home. So they will face with overweight problem, and finally they become the obese children. And today many children are snacking on Western junk food especially in school. You can buy everything is fried, the toast which is spread with sugar, cream and butter, many kind of snacks and fast food3. According to the Kasikorn Reseach Centre, they show that today the quick-service restaurants have value about 12 billion bath a year. The chicken menus represent 6.2 billion baht, 2.9 billion for burgers and pizza. Moreover, Acnielson, Market researcher (2004), survey the fast food market and found that KFC is the leader in chicken market share, and MC Donald’s is the leader in burger market with 72 percent of market share. The percent of market share in chicken and burger are very high if compare with other market3. From this research, the trends of fast food seem to accrue arising from Thai people and children eat more fast food per day. And children have tendency to consume more snacks too. According to the research of Ministry of Health, Thailand, 2005 showed that the favorite snack of Thai children, age 0 to 14 years is a snack made of wheat flour bake and flavour to many tastes. They have high level of sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate and fat. All of children are snacking instead of main food in account for 20 percent. Therefore, they will gain more fat and carbohydrate and it will accumulate to be the cause of many disease such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, tooth decay and the increase the cancer risk in children4. In addition, snacks drop the learning of children by deteriorated brain’s efficiency. Refer to the impact of a low food additive and sucrose Diet on Academic performance in 803 New York city Public school, published in International Journal of Biosocial Research that manifest to the score of student’s raise from percentile 41 to 47, if the school stop to sold junk food in cafeteria and it increase to percentile 55 in the following years2. So the obese problem is the serious issue that every part should cooperate to solve this problem. In the part of Thai government, they have declared the law to enforce every...
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