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Thai health ministry: Thais fattest in SE Asia


July 13, 2008

Thai health ministry: Thais fattest in SE Asia
Thais must set up exercise clubs in every community if they are to beat the obesity scourge that threatens to enwrap them, Indonesian news agency Antara quoted Thailand’s deputy public health minister as saying in reports published Sunday.

Some 40 million Thais neglect to take exercise and eat too much giving the country the highest number of fatties in the region, Wicharn Meenchaiyanant was quoted by DPA as saying.

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He said the evidence was clear that a bad, high-fat diet, inactive life and smoking combine to make unhealthy Thais.

In Asia only Australia, Mongolia, Vanuatu and Hong Kong had fatter populations. Wicharn said at least 10 million Thais, out of a total population of 63 million, needed to lose lots of weight.

The health ministry plans to ask every village in the country to create an exercise club. Many, especially within towns, already do.

Thais who go regularly to see doctors are usually those who do not look after themselves, and do not take exercise, a joint study by Abac University and the health department showed last year.

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