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Pattaya Daily News

04 November 2009 :: 00:11:08 am 2522

Obesity & Diet Linked to Cancer & Depression

It seems that over the past 10 years Thai people have been becoming more obese, especially the children. OK, Thailand only ranks 144th, with 31.6% of the adult population being obese on the WHO scale of obesity, but even so it is no cause for celebration, considering how slim the average Thai used to be and especially in terms of the latest reports on the consequences of obesity.
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The fattest people on Earth apparently are those from Nauru, with 94.5% of the population obese, compared with the USA which ranks 9th with 74.1% obesity, Australia ranks 21st with 67.4% obesity, the United Kingdom comes in at 28th with 63.8% obesity, Germany ranking 43th with 60.1% obesity, the Russian Federation weighing in at 92nd with 49.1, Italy, surprisingly only ranking 111th with an obesity rate of 45.5%, China tips the scales at 148th with 28.9%, and the Philippines even less, ranking 155th. with 25.2% obesity, down to the Eritreans who, at 194th, with only 4.4% of the population obese, rank as the slimmest, and by that virtue according to the latest research findings, the healthiest people on the globe. 

The original Thai diet is generally considered among the most healthy in the world, containing as it does a high percentage of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs, as well as fresh ingredients and light meat and fish, which explains why many Thai people can constantly snack and not become fat; that sparrow eating-habit is also considered more beneficial than eating three large meals a day. However, newspapers reports indicate that 14% of Thai children are now obese, largely blaming Western fast ‘junk’ food, like McDonalds and KFC. In addition, the new generation spends too much time indolently watching TV and playing video games, in preference to sports and games.


A recent report by Kasikorn Research Centre, indicates Thailand’s fast-service restaurant industry is now worth about Bt12 billion, annually. Of the total, chicken menus account for about 6.2 billion baht, 2.9 billion for burgers and another 2.9 billion baht for pizza. A survey in 2004 by market researcher ACNielsen showed that KFC was the leader in the chicken market with a 72% share, after which came McDonald’s with 15% and Chester’s Grill at 11%. As regards, hamburgers, McDonald’s is the clear market leader with a 72% share, followed by KFC with 24% and the remainder being spread amongst other brands.


In addition, recent research by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) draws a high correlation between obesity and six types of cancer, whereas weight management, exercise and proper nutrition are crucial to reducing the risk of cancer. And the earlier in life these practices are adopted, the more beneficial. There are, of course, other factors involved, like genetics, birth weight, childbearing, breast-feeding, and adult height and weight. “We need to think about cancer as the product of many long-term influences, not as something that ‘just happens,’ ” Dr. Walter J. Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, one of 21 authors of the report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. New research from University College London indicates a diet heavy in processed and fatty foods radically increases the risk of depression.
Taking into account other healthy lifestyle habits, like not smoking and taking physical exercise, those who ate the whole foods had a 26%percent lower risk of depression than those who ate mainly processed foods, who had a 58% higher risk of depression. However, the report suggests 10 recommendations to help prevent cancer, including staying slim, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, limiting your intake of red meat and alcohol. Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity at the American Cancer Society was quick to add her support to the WCRF report, saying “It’s great to see another report that emphasizes being active, watching your weight and eating a healthy diet are not only going to help you reduce your risk of cancer but heart disease and diabetes as well.


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Health

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