Thailand's Public Health Ministry wants to make Thais taller

THAILAND - The Public Health Ministry aims to boost Thai youths' average height to 175cm for males and 162cm for females in 10 years and also lengthen the average life span to 80 years through a campaign to drink milk every day.

Saying that Thais drank only 14 litres of milk per head per year, compared to the Southeast Asia average of 60 litres and the world rate of 103.9 litres per year, Deputy Public Health Minister Cholanan Srikaew said Thai youths aged 18 were hence rather short with the average height of males at 167.1cm and females at 157.4cm.

Cholanan made his comments on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's World Milk Day yesterday.

He said Thais of all age should be urged to drink milk. Starting with the ministry's campaign to get 60 per cent of newborns (or 800,000 newborns) breastfed for at least six months after birth, then be fed with breast milk along with nutrient food until the age of 2, he said other Thai age groups should also be encouraged to drink cow milk.

Health Department chief Jessada Chokdamrongsuk suggested that pre-school kids drink 2-3 glasses of milk, schooling kids drink two glasses of milk and adults drink one glass of low-fat milk after meals on a daily basis.

Pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers should drink two glasses of milk. Those with stomach problems after drinking milk should start with small amounts and slowly increase the intake to let the body adjust, he added.