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Thai govt urged to move people from high-salt diets


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Govt urged to move people from high-salt diets

By THE NATION

 

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MORE THAN 22 million Thais suffer from ailments due to high salt and sodium consumption and each year 20,000 of them die from one of four main related diseases, costing the country huge losses estimated at Bt98.9 billion a year.

 

Academics and health advocates are therefore calling on the government to impose a tax on high-sodium food products, claiming that such a measure will lead to the food industry adjusting people’s diets in a move that would cost just Bt5.3 million but help save the lives of 32,670 people.

 

Low Salt Thailand Network chairman Dr Surasak Kantachuvesiri told a seminar that 13.2 million Thais suffered from high blood pressure, 500,000 Thais from stroke, 750,000 Thais from coronary artery disease and 7.6 million from kidney disease – the last of which also led to 20,000 new people requiring kidney dialysis treatment every year. The seminar was part of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference being held in Bangkok until February 3.

 

“Sodium over-consumption causes 20,000 Thai deaths a year and, when combined with those ailed requiring medical treatments, results in economic losses worth Bt98.976 billion a year,” Surasak said. A third of Thais ate home-made meals, a third ate street food and a third ate food products from conveniece stores. “More than 90 per cent of Thai families ate instant noodles, equivalent to eight million packs of instant noodles per day,” he added.

 

Surasak said it was necessary to raise public awareness about the dangers of high-salt diets, and force the food industry to adjust what it offered to be low-sodium. A tax measure –not meant to make the state richer but to make Thais consume less salt and buy low-sodium food products at cheaper prices – could be imposed to make the food industry abide by this, he said. There was the need to cap imported food products’ sodium levels, he claimed, citing the fact that Thai instant noodle had up to 2,000 milligrams of sodium per pack, while a Korean imported one had 7,000.

 

The limit of sodium in imported food products is on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s agenda to be soon discussed with related agencies, said FDA deputy chief Dr Poonlarp Chanthawijitwong. He said the FDA had announced last year that 13 food products, an increase from the previous five, needed to carry a Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) nutrition facts label for sugar, fat and sodium. 

 

The 13 products were snacks, chocolates, bakery products, instant food products, frozen single-serve meals, drinks in sealed packages, tea, coffee, milk, yoghurt, dairy products, soy milk and ice-cream. The FDA also amended its recommended maximum daily intake for sodium as shown on labels to be no more than 2,000 milligrams, a drop from the previous cap of 2,400 milligrams, he said.

 

International Health Policy Programme Thailand researcher Payao Phonsuk said a study had been conducted on Thailand’s adoption of the World Health Organisation’s SHAKE technical package for salt reduction. 

 

The SHAKE made these recommendations: monitor people’s salt use; work with the food industry in its transition to diets containing less salt; adopt standards for labelling and marketing: implement standards for effective and accurate labelling and marketing of food; communicate information to empower individuals to eat less salt; and enhance the environment to promote healthy eating. 

 

It was found that working with the food industry to change people’s diets offered the most benefits, followed by adding sodium levels to products’ labels.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30363251

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-31
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

A third of Thais ate home-made meals, a third ate street food and a third ate food products from conveniece stores.

government tax might make inroads but the real issue is people do not understand what is good for them to eat and what isn't; an astounding hole in the maturation process

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Salt and sugar. Staple Thai fare which kills people. Dietary experience in the rest of the world somehow doesn't apply in Thailand, they're just starting to get the message?

 

Outstanding.

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6 minutes ago, HalfLight said:

Salt and sugar. Staple Thai fare which kills people. Dietary experience in the rest of the world somehow doesn't apply in Thailand, they're just starting to get the message?

 

Outstanding.

You forgot MSG

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26 minutes ago, ZeVonderBearz said:

What's wrong with MSG? 

In a minority of people, MSG causes migraine-like symptoms, not just headaches, but visual migraines. It isn't universal by any means and the direct evidence appears weak-ish (mainly due to lack of research), but I can tell you in my case there is close to a 100% correlation with visual migraine, and the only sure remedy is a few hours of sleep. Your mileage might vary, but for me, this is a real problem if I fancy a Chinese meal (also had the problem in the UK, which is where it originally surfaced). Thai food also uses MSG as a flavour-enhancer; instead of salt.

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41 minutes ago, ZeVonderBearz said:

What's wrong with MSG? 

It's more about quantity, i used to think Thai food was healthy

until i lived here,  and looked how they cook with stuff like Salt, Msg, and Sugar. way over the top.

( cook at home is healthy )

But feel free to consume,  as much as you wish,  of it all.

 

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16 minutes ago, stanleycoin said:

It's more about quantity, i used to think Thai food was healthy

until i lived here,  and looked how they cook with stuff like Salt, Msg, and Sugar. way over the top.

( cook at home is healthy )

But feel free to consume,  as much as you wish,  of it all.

 

I live in Isaan, sod all restaurants here, and the nutritional value of the <deleted> most people have to eat is (I suspect) apalling. Kids are growing taller these days, but I am unsurprised that the average Thai over 50 is small by comparison to the western world, and the incidence of heart and liver problems among people who certainly are not obese ought to be a worry but seems not to be.

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To say what is healthy and what is not one needs to have a really good understanding of what they put in there mouths in regards as food. Health taking into account from everything from birth to the adult of a person, background, environment, etc. Healthy is a loose term and does not look at the bigger picture just only foods for the most part. Now, worldwide even in the best case scenario the human body is not designed to live past 100 years and in some cases past 100. 

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4 minutes ago, InsertNameHere said:

To say what is healthy and what is not one needs to have a really good understanding of what they put in there mouths in regards as food. Health taking into account from everything from birth to the adult of a person, background, environment, etc. Healthy is a loose term and does not look at the bigger picture just only foods for the most part. Now, worldwide even in the best case scenario the human body is not designed to live past 100 years and in some cases past 100. 

Indeed. And 200 years ago, the life expectancy was about 40, but apart from the fact that you're right, I'm not sure what the take-away is. Oddly, the Isaan diet might well be very good in terms of the amount of insect protein sections of the community consume. But of course, not all people eat insects, it's a cultural thing. I think I'd rather not eat anything that sit down to a nice feed of fried maggots or crickets. But then I'm an old fuddy-duddy from way back.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, HalfLight said:

Salt and sugar. Staple Thai fare which kills people. Dietary experience in the rest of the world somehow doesn't apply in Thailand, they're just starting to get the message?

Outstanding.

I remember reading Michael Moss's book Salt, Sugar, Fat.

It describes how (mainly) the US fast food industry - especially Coke - realised decades ago that these three items were highly addictive when used in food, hence the high levels in the product in order to keep customers wanting more.

It was a good read, although very frightening by showing the power of multi-national companies.

 

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8 minutes ago, bluesofa said:

I remember reading Michael Moss's book Salt, Sugar, Fat.

It describes how (mainly) the US fast food industry - especially Coke - realised decades ago that these three items were highly addictive when used in food, hence the high levels in the product in order to keep customers wanting more.

It was a good read, although very frightening by showing the power of multi-national companies.

 

I don't doubt it. I know the first of the major reports in USA was modified to blame fat for the ills of the world, whereas the research clearly showed sugar was the problem. Yet another plague the USA has visited upon the world through it's arrogance and astronomically high levels of corruption.

 

'Shining city on a hill' my backside.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, HalfLight said:

I don't doubt it. I know the first of the major reports in USA was modified to blame fat for the ills of the world, whereas the research clearly showed sugar was the problem. Yet another plague the USA has visited upon the world through it's arrogance and astronomically high levels of corruption.

'Shining city on a hill' my backside.

Yeah, I'd suggest that 'city' probably needs spelling with an 'sh'.

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51 minutes ago, HalfLight said:

Indeed. And 200 years ago, the life expectancy was about 40, but apart from the fact that you're right, I'm not sure what the take-away is. Oddly, the Isaan diet might well be very good in terms of the amount of insect protein sections of the community consume. But of course, not all people eat insects, it's a cultural thing. I think I'd rather not eat anything that sit down to a nice feed of fried maggots or crickets. But then I'm an old fuddy-duddy from way back.

It's a culture thing for sure but just how did it become a cultural thing? When the body is what we think is hunger will eat and try to survive on just about anything. When the everything has been monopolized do to money, control, etc. lack of money to buy food people were forced to eat what they could find it was not about proteins etc. People who live where it is mostly dark, lack of sunshine, or only food source is fish all this talk about health means nothing. The only reason for you not wanting to eat "anything that sat down....." is because your culture did not do. As far as a take away there just is nothing to take from this other than people talking about health do NOT know what they are talking about rather just regurgitating what they know, read, or heard. Nothing from first hand knowledge. But, hey what do we all know anyways as it is pure opinion nothing more. 🙂 

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8 minutes ago, InsertNameHere said:

It's a culture thing for sure but just how did it become a cultural thing? When the body is what we think is hunger will eat and try to survive on just about anything. When the everything has been monopolized do to money, control, etc. lack of money to buy food people were forced to eat what they could find it was not about proteins etc. People who live where it is mostly dark, lack of sunshine, or only food source is fish all this talk about health means nothing. The only reason for you not wanting to eat "anything that sat down....." is because your culture did not do. As far as a take away there just is nothing to take from this other than people talking about health do NOT know what they are talking about rather just regurgitating what they know, read, or heard. Nothing from first hand knowledge. But, hey what do we all know anyways as it is pure opinion nothing more. 🙂 

 

That's true, you said it before I could. All knowledge stems from what we read, hear or know, can't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

 

 

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I had a  (surprisingly good for all we hear abut 'hospital food') meal at Mission Hospital, Phuket, last week. They had a sign up above the condiments section warning about large amounts of salt and trying to cut down on its consumption. Evolution not revolution is the way ahead.

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2 hours ago, HalfLight said:

I live in Isaan, sod all restaurants here, and the nutritional value of the <deleted> most people have to eat is (I suspect) apalling. Kids are growing taller these days, but I am unsurprised that the average Thai over 50 is small by comparison to the western world, and the incidence of heart and liver problems among people who certainly are not obese ought to be a worry but seems not to be.

Children in Europe after WW2 also grew taller. Not because the quality of food suddenly got much better, but primarily because the quantity did...

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3 hours ago, HalfLight said:

Salt and sugar. Staple Thai fare which kills people. Dietary experience in the rest of the world somehow doesn't apply in Thailand, they're just starting to get the message?

 

Outstanding.

Luckily the western countries are role models about what a healthy diet looks like. Obese not being a serious issue at all. 

 

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39 minutes ago, Psimbo said:

I had a  (surprisingly good for all we hear abut 'hospital food') meal at Mission Hospital, Phuket, last week.

I always liked the food at their restaurant. Especially the rice they have is great, just don't ask for the white stuff, that's boring like everywhere else. 

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3 hours ago, HalfLight said:

In a minority of people, MSG causes migraine-like symptoms, not just headaches, but visual migraines. It isn't universal by any means and the direct evidence appears weak-ish (mainly due to lack of research), but I can tell you in my case there is close to a 100% correlation with visual migraine, and the only sure remedy is a few hours of sleep. Your mileage might vary, but for me, this is a real problem if I fancy a Chinese meal (also had the problem in the UK, which is where it originally surfaced). Thai food also uses MSG as a flavour-enhancer; instead of salt.

And some people are lactose intolerant, some people are allergic to nuts etc...

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28 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

Children in Europe after WW2 also grew taller. Not because the quality of food suddenly got much better, but primarily because the quantity did...

Maybe, I have no training as a nutritionist, but judging from the amount they eat (someone on here joked that Thais have to eat every 15 minutes), I suspect the issue isn't so much quantity as quality. Rice is hugely non-nutritious and they eat mountains of it.

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11 minutes ago, Vacuum said:

And some people are lactose intolerant, some people are allergic to nuts etc...

That's true enough... but there ought to be reason in all things. Thais love sugar, they consume it in bread (!) and milk (!). Sugar surely is addictive as someone else hinted in this thread.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, HalfLight said:

Rice is hugely non-nutritious and they eat mountains of it.

 

Humans are biologically compelled to seek out food energy (carbs, mostly, including sugar).  We gravitate toward food with the highest levels of carbs and fat.  It's only in this light that any sort of food could be loosely described as addictive.

 

If you're looking for somebody to point a finger at, point it at us for not being able to moderate our caloric intake.  Food is everywhere, and too many people eat for pleasure.

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20 minutes ago, GeoMill said:

Luckily the western countries are role models about what a healthy diet looks like. Obese not being a serious issue at all. 

 

Hmmm. Well, the spread of diabetes 2 is something which the western world largely monopolised until McDonalds and KFC started spreading into the East. I spent some time with the DM medics in Cambridge, and they had some quite alarming research which showed the spread of DM2 almost exactly mirroring the spread of McDonalds. Wealth is killing off many of the western countries. I watch quite a lot of BBC, and British women seem to have become worryingly obese in the past 15 years, or so the telly tells it...

 

 

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