Health communication to reduce sugar consumption in Thailand
Excessive sugar consumption is one of the critical health behaviors contributing to Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs, which are the leading causes of mortality among the Thai population. It is reported that Thai people have a continuous increase in sugar consumption every year associated with higher incidences of NCDs in the country. Therefore, health communication to raise awareness and modify the sugar consumption behavior in Thailand focuses on integrative communication in terms of public policies in accordance with the National NCDs Strategic Plan, guidelines and knowledge in sugar consumption including healthy and unhealthy sugar sources, sugar substitutes and their use in functional foods, health problems related to sugar consumption, the use of GDA Nutrition label, and the application of Healthier Choices standards with appropriate sugar content. With changing lifestyles, social media and technologies play a higher role in health communication regarding sugar consumption, resulting in the development of health applications in conjunction with IoT technology that can be used via smartphones. All these communications aim to promote the reduction of sugar consumption in the prevention of NCDs, thus reducing the premature death rate of the Thai population accordingly.
Keywords: health communication, sugar consumption, sugar, sweetener, sugar tax, social media, non-communicable diseases, NCDs, nutrition label, GDA label, IoT
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