Move to make kids taller with better school lunches in Thailand

The government is set to launch a campaign that aims to increase the average height and IQ of Thais through better nutrition at schools and other health awareness actions targeting children, officials said yesterday.

The aim is to increase the average height of men from 167 centimetres at present to 175cm and women from 157cm to 165cm within 10 years.

The Health Department will try to increase the average IQ from 94 to 100 over the same time, Narong Saiwong, deputy director of the department, said.

Children at schools across the country will receive healthier meals and more instructions on healthy living including exercise, an official at the department who asked not to be named said.

Childhood obesity contributes to a lower IQ as the associated symptoms of sleep apnea and drowsiness prevent students from competing to their full potential at school, the official said.

Physical and mental health is one of the core values of the government, which stipulates primary school children must recite the core values daily.

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