BANGKOK — A new iPhone, Mercedes-Benz and other riches are only the twist of a cap away, according to the endless promotions for brands such as Ichitan, Yen Yen and Oishi.
While consumers drink their way through bottle after bottle in search of winning codes, they’re also burning out their pancreases on an overload of sugar, and health officials are calling for regulation of the advertisements.
“Thai people like lucky draw campaigns,” said the Department of Health’s Sutha Jienmaneechotchai. “Letting companies freely arrange the promotions has boosted consumption.
Sutha said other countries such as Japan have reined in such campaigns by limiting the rewards offered.
Every day a Thai consumer eats about 26 teaspoons of sugar, according to new data yesterday from the department.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, Thais consume 104 grams of sugar daily, which is about three times higher than what’s recommended by the World Health Organization, or WHO.
Those numbers are different from other studies. A February report from market research firm Euromonitor put Thai consumers at 29.3 grams of sugar per day, with an average American eating 126 grams on any given day.
In 2014 the WHO recommended an adult of average body size should keep daily sugar intake down to about 50 grams.
Sutha said his office will ask authorities to regulate ads for sugary products to fight rising levels of diabetes, as diabetes in the country has been on the rise.