Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said during a seminar in Bangkok that the latest finding suggested that around 2 Thais now suffer Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) every hour, with one of them dies each hour.
Mr. Surawit stated that the problem is a health emergency, which calls for urgent prevention and treatment as 70 percent of IHD patients have history of obesity or high cholesterol.
According to the Deputy Health Minister, as many as 17 million Thais are overweight or obese, with the number set to go up 25 percent each year. Moreover, 20,000 of people with obesity die each year, while the government is to pay more than 100 billion baht every year, to cure obese patients, who might have suffered other related symptoms.
He added that the Ministry of Public Health is announcing a policy to speedily promote health consciousness to battle obesity among Thais.
In doing so, the ministry plans to launch an awareness campaign for the public to help them understand the threats and the risks of obesity and to adjust their consumption behavior. The Public Health Ministry hopes that its campaign will help reduce the number of patients through the right weight-loss approaches, which means the cutback on sweet, oily and salty food while increasing vegetable and fruit intake along with regular workout.