Connect with us


Opinion: The role of sugar in Thailand’s worsening obesity epidemic



PHUKET: One of the biggest changes to Phuket’s rapidly urbanizing roadside landscape over the years has been the proliferation of shops selling liquid confections such as chaa manao (lime tea) and a wide range of other colorful drinks, all laced with as many as 25 tablespoons of pure sugar.

It would be interesting to do a statistical analysis on this proliferation, especially as it relates to Thailand’s worsening obesity epidemic, already among the worst in Southeast Asia.

An estimated 32% of the Thai population is now overweight, and the trend seems to be on the rise as our children are lured into lives of sugar addiction from many sides, from advertising that makes it seem ‘cool’ to be chubby as well as parents who think they are rewarding their kids when they give them junk food polluted with sugar, salt and chemical preservatives.

Obviously the obesity problem is a global epidemic and the proliferation of cha manao shops here in Phuket is just one manifestation of the factory-food hydra that started in the corn fields of the American midwest a century ago, and continues to spread like The Blob across the globe. Even in remote parts of Thailand you will still find roadside vendors selling roti sai mai (cotton candy) for passing motorists who need a quick fix.

The result has been a huge increase in chronic and sometimes fatal medical conditions, especially type 2 diabetes.

Even if all this sugar does not kill us, it can certainly make our lives miserable. In addition to porking up the people, making them weak and unattractive, sugar also causes tooth decay – a fact that has been known for decades.

And how many Thais are even aware of the link between sugar intake and acne vulgaris, which is leaving so many of our youngsters needlessly scarred for life?

Fortunately, sugar addiction and obesity are not terribly difficult to overcome for those willing to make some basic lifestyle changes. The path is simple for those who follow the NSNG (no sugar, no grains) lifestyle advocated by American celebrity fitness trainer Vinnie Tortorich.

Under this lifestyle, you need to stop eating both sugar and grains, including bread and rice. Passing up rice in favor of fresh vegetables may make you seem like a bit of a heretic in rice-o-centric Thailand, but the results are worth it.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok Travel8 hours ago

Ari All Link is a must-attend skill-up workshop for Ari people

Cannabis News11 hours ago

Anutin responds to photo of cannabis smoking kids on Pattaya Beach

Education11 hours ago

Thai student allegedly raped by Hyderabad U professor

Sponsored17 hours ago

Marketing in Thailand as a Foreigner: Volume #3 The Marketing Noises

Tourism12 hours ago

Phuket welcomes 6,730 flights in December

Tourism12 hours ago

Thailand tourism predicted at 80% of pre-Covid in 2023

Transport14 hours ago

Bangkok airport expansion prepares for bidding war

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Child Protection Foundation leader faces child labour charges

Road deaths15 hours ago

Red-Bull hit-and-run prosecutor dismissed

Transport15 hours ago

Phuket flight cancellation due to earlier cancelled flight, runway maintenance

Election16 hours ago

Pheu Thai Party under fire as Tuhao-Shinawatra connection exposed

Video16 hours ago

THAIGER PODCAST | Ep.14 Saving Thai cats one paw at a time

Tourism17 hours ago

Bullets-in-bag Israeli given 18 months in Thailand

Video1 day ago

Thailand News Today | 9 year olds smoke cannabis on Pattaya Beach in Thailand

Economy1 day ago

Thai baht soars to six-month high against US dollar

Pattaya1 day ago

Motorcycle taxi riders rally against unlicensed ride-share app drivers in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11