11 July 2024

WHO Representative to Thailand, Dr. Daniel Kertesz, said that consuming drinks with a high sugar content contributes to obesity, diabetes and other diseases. He also thinks that the increase in the sugar tax will encourage people to reduce the consumption of unhealthy food items, including sugary drinks.

In the past 4 years, the Thai government has given drink manufacturers time to adjust their formula, to reduce sugar in their products. The government has ordered a tax increase on sugary drinks and the adjustment is due to take effect soon. If these drinks contain less sugar, they will attract less tax, and hopefully this will change consumer’s behaviour.

Consuming too much sugar can lead to a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such liver cancer, diabetes, obesity and many more. Deaths from such diseases account for up to 70% of all deaths in Thailand.

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation revealed that the average Thai person consumes the equivalent of about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, and this puts them at risk of diseases which kill five times as many people per day as COVID-19.

According to ThaiHealthWatch, Thai people are used to eating food that tastes very sweet, which will affect blood vessels, the heart and kidneys.