Opinion: The role of sugar in Thailand's worsening obesity epidemic

Opinion: The role of sugar in Thailand's worsening obesity epidemic

PHUKET: One of the biggest changes to Phuket’s rapidly urbanizing roadside landscape over the years has been the proliferation of shops selling liquid confections such as chaa manao (lime tea) and a wide range of other colorful drinks, all laced with as many as 25 tablespoons of pure sugar. It would be interesting to do a statistical analysis on this proliferation, especially as it relates to Thailand’s worsening obesity epidemic, already among the worst in Southeast Asia. An estimated 32% of the Thai population is now overweight, and the trend seems to be on the rise as our children are lured into lives of su

Monday, July 3, 2017 | 12:00 PM

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Opinion: Medical Certificates – Who's Fooling Whom?

Opinion: Medical Certificates – Who's Fooling Whom?

PHUKET: As part of its ongoing reforms, the current government should revise or eliminate the Medical Certificate (bai raprawng phaet) as a requirement in so many government application procedures. In the process of renewing his work permit, this editorialist was recently handed a form citing, among numerous other documentary requirements, “a medical certificate certifying that the applicant is free from the prohibited deceased. In theory, it makes sense to have a doctor certify that seekers of a work permit are in good health and free of dangerous contagious diseases. In reality, though,

Sunday, June 18, 2017 | 10:41 AM

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Ministry of Farang Affairs: Reading maps

Ministry of Farang Affairs: Reading maps

PHUKET: The Ministry of Farang Affairs is a one-stop shop where foreigners in Thailand can learn all they need to know about living here. No, we’re not talking about work permits, visas or taxes. We’re talking about day-to-day life in the Land of Endless Shocks and Riddles, of Blur, Befuddlement and the Bizarre. Stay tuned for weekly insights from Minister Stephff. For more from the Ministry of Farang Affairs, visit the Ministry album on the Phuket Gazette Facebook page (here).

Sunday, June 11, 2017 | 10:20 AM

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Opinion: Struggling to preserve natural resources

Opinion: Struggling to preserve natural resources

PHUKET: The recent arrest of a bus driver en route to Phuket with over 1,000 protected marine creatures raises a number of important issues that should be addressed by authorities. First is the issue of Thai law enforcement’s ongoing struggle to preserve what little remains of our natural resources. One week we read that a foreign tourist is behind bars for feeding breadcrumbs to fish inside a marine national park. Then, a few weeks later, officials recover 1,000 specimens of protected species under transport on a public bus. A Hollywood scriptwriter specializing in dystopian sci-fi fantasies could not make such stuff up

Sunday, June 11, 2017 | 07:00 AM

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Opinion: Implications of the Computer Crimes Act

Opinion: Implications of the Computer Crimes Act

PHUKET: We can all let out a big sigh of relief now that the new Computer Crimes Act (CCA 2.0) is in effect, protecting us from 'unsolicited digital advertising' (aka spam) as well as a host of other annoyances and potential threats. All of the potential implications of CCA 2.0 are far too broad to address in this space, so for expediency and safety let’s just address the spam issue in this installment. “Promoting products by commenting on people’s personal social media posts is considered as spam and the person responsible could be fined up to 200,000 baht” is just one of the provisions of CCA 2.0. Problem solved, r

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | 02:30 PM

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Opinion: Need to revise drug laws

Opinion: Need to revise drug laws

PHUKET: The recent arrest by Region 8 Police of two men for posing as officers of the law and trying to extort money from the families of teenage boys found drinking krathom leaf extract is just the latest reminder of the need for Thailand to reconsider and revise its draconian drug control laws. It might strike some as futile to urge a military government to take such measures, but in reality there has never been a better time for Thailand to move forward in this regard. It is encouraging that the current government is the first in our memory to have floated the possibility of such reforms, but it is equally dis

Monday, May 29, 2017 | 02:30 PM

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