Prevalence of obesity in Thailand

See editorial on pp. 587–588


W Aekplakorn, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rama 6 Road, Rajdevi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand. E-mail:


The prevalence of obesity in Thailand has been doubled in the past two decades. Data from three consecutive National Health examination surveys (NHES) have shown a secular trend, as the prevalence of obesity with body mass index ≥25 kg m−2 in adults increased from 13.0% in men and 23.2% in women in 1991 to 18.6% and 29.5% in 1997 and 22.4% and 34.3% in 2004 respectively. Obesity prevalence in children, using weight for height criteria, increased from 5.8% in 1997 to 7.9% in 2001 for the 2–5-year-olds and from 5.8% to 6.7% for the 6–12-year-olds. The data also show disproportionate increases of obesity in the rural area, which indicates the problem no longer restricts to the higher socioeconomic group.