World Health Organization Concerned over Thais’ Low Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables


BANGKOK (NNT) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns over insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables by the Thai population, particularly among the young.

WHO Thailand medical officer Dr. Renu Garg said the level of pesticide contamination in vegetables and fruits, aggressive marketing, ineffective labeling and easy access to unhealthy food products are key social and commercial determinants seen as the root cause of such unhealthy diets.

She said the country should seek ways to improve school meals, by increasing vegetable and fruit servings in school meals, to promote healthy diets among children. Selling sugary drinks in and around schools should also be reduced or banned.

Dr. Garg also raised concern over high salt intake, saying consuming too much salt can lead to obesity, diabetes and hypertension and the trends are heading in the wrong direction. Regulatory market restrictions should be enacted to ban inappropriate marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages. Public campaigns to promote healthy diets should also be carried out.