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Thai doctor warns of link between high sugar consumption and liver cancer

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Rod Long on Unsplash

A Thai doctor has issued a stark warning about the link between eating a lot of sugar and the risk of various life-threatening illnesses, including cancer. Wannee Nitiyanan says that high consumption of sugar can trigger a number of non-communicable diseases, such as fatty liver, clogged brain and heart arteries, fatty liver, and liver cancer.

She adds that around 70% of deaths among Thais are the result of such non-communicable diseases, with the government spending between 400,000 and 500,000 million baht trying to manage the health crisis. Every 2 years, taxes on sugary drinks are increased, in an effort to encourage consumers to cut down.

Meanwhile, according to Bangkok Hospital, around 4 million Thais have been diagnosed with diabetes. Without adequate management of the illness, it can cause serious complications. One of the leading causes of weight gain, which can potentially lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes, is high sugar consumption.

Last year, the World Health Organisation declared that nearly a third of Thais are overweight, with 9% of them classed as obese. Thailand now has the second-highest level of obesity in Southeast Asia, behind Malaysia in first place. Particularly troubling is the revelation that weight problems are just as prevalent among children, with over 10% of kids under the age of 5 falling into the obese category.

The increase in Thai waistlines is being attributed to an increase in disposable income, combined with more sedentary living. Obesity rates are also higher in urban areas, possibly due to the prevalence of fast-food outlets.

SOURCE: Thai Residents


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Wait so I can’t consume sugar like a Wall Street Banker snorts cocaine?
    But I thought it’s legal and okay and the government is taking care of what I can and can not do. What a bummer…

  2. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    I’m putting on so much weight since living here; Thai food is not what it used to be.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    The tobacco industry for many years conned the world over the dangers of tobacco, the food industry is doing something very similar with sugar ….. if Covid deaths weren’t a big enough warning, governments need to raise awareness over the dangers of sugar.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    No shit sherlock!

  5. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I go out of my way to avoid sugar consumption here. It’s in nearly everything, much the same as corn syrup is in everything in the US. Just in the last 5 yrs I’ve noticed Thai folks getting much larger at a rapid pace. Staggering, really. Take a lesson from the US, Thailand, immediately change course with the sugar enrichmenta.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Sugar costs nothing…so they put it in all consumer goods: “3 in 1 coffee”: 58 % sugar!!! “Mayonaise” 28% sugar…etc…etc…Why so many youngsters are so fat? And the Government is only busy with the promotion of the more than 150 Generals at the army….Poor stupid country…Poor stupid leaders…

  7. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Should require quarantine for those people that go to a bakery. They might help spread diabetes by bringing a box of donuts home or to the office.

  8. Avatar


    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    It’s sugar and high carb consumption. Refined carbs like rice and noodles have the same effect on the body as sugar. One needs to limit both, eat these things in moderation. Intermittent fast at least every other day as well. Grazing on food all day like a cow is not good for you.

  9. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Fatty liver is a major issue here. As noted in the first comment, consume what you want but face the consequences. I was diagnosed with a fatty liver here and told by Thai doctors to reduce my sugar intake. They said with the high sugar, condiment consumption here, many already have or face the consequences of fatty liver and liver cancer. No surprise.

  10. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 8:51 am

    And the coffee?? The coffee here isn’t coffee if it’s not half sugar. 555

  11. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 11:21 am

    I am relieved. I thought alcohol was the big danger in regards to liver cancer.
    Now I see it is sugar.
    I shall cut down on sugar and carry on drinking like a fish.

  12. Avatar


    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 11:47 am

    No kidding Wannee !!! I wrote my medicine doctorate thesis on this very topic…43 years ago. Good to be followed albeit rather late !!! Amazing Thailand !

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