Thailand is to launch a campaign to increase the average height of its citizens through better nutrition at school and health awareness for children, officials said Friday.
It aims to increase the average height of Thai men to 175 centimetres and women to 165 centimetres from 167 centimetres and 157 centimetres respectively within 10 years, according to the Department of Health.
The department will also try to increase the average IQ from 94 to 100 over the same time, said Narong Saiwong, deputy director of the department.
Children at schools across the country would receive healthier meals and more instruction on healthy living and exercise, said an official in the Department of Health who asked not to be named. (Leally ????)
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, she said.
The maintenance of physical and mental health is one of the core values for Thais proclaimed by the military government.
The junta has stipulated that all primary school children recite the core values daily.
Times comment:-Of course any move to improve children’s diet is to be welcomed. However, there are other ways to maximize physical development. In the age of mobile phones and computer games, children are engaging in less and less physical activity. I can remember when I was 8, our PE lesson was taken by the lady class teacher. We simply took off our shirts, put on a pair of plimsoles and played an unsupervised game of football for thirty minutes, once a week. (Girls were allowed to keep their tops on and played netball.)
This approach continued for many years and in some schools still goes on. Physical Education is an important subject and requires skilled, trained teachers, like any other subject. Children come in all shapes and sizes and it is no easy task to ensure ALL of them get enough exercise to ensure maximum physical development.
When I was young there were fewer ways to entertain yourself. Most play required running, climbing etc, something children do not do now. A lot of games have been stopped because of ridiculous health and safety issues and schools have to provide supervised alternatives.
(Source:-The Nation, Thailand)