Over 40% of working Thais are overweight and risk of developing associated diseases

42.4% of working Thai people, aged from 15 years and up, are overweight and at risk of developing non-communicable diseases, because of their lifestyle involves frequent consumption of fast food, insufficient exercise and socialising in eateries.

According to Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Health Department, a survey of working Thais, conducted during 2019 and 2020, shows that the average body mass index (BMI) of males is 24.2 and 25.2 for females, which are regarded as higher than normal.

The findings also show that 37.8% of working Thai males and 46.4% of working females are regarded as fat and, of these, 27.7% of the males and 50.4% of the females have belly fat.

Compared to previous findings, the survey results show that more Thai people ate less fruit and vegetables, measured at 78.8% compared to 74.1%.

Dr. Suwanchai pointed out that one of the causes of obesity among working Thai people is that they spend about 40 hours a week in their offices and their hectic work life forces them to eat unhealthy fast food.

Socialising in eateries may ease stress, but may also result inweight gain and a higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart and kidney diseases, he said.

He suggests that working people should exercise frequently, an average of 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes per week byjogging, fast walking, cycling, aerobic or yoga exercises, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

They should also sleep for between 7 and 9 hours a night and regularly check their body weight and waist size, he added.


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