Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) is launching a special ‘Gentle Coffee’ routes of Chiang mai, after WHO published that Thai people consume 25 teaspoons of sugar daily. According to ThaiHealth spokesman, “Thai people do not have good eating habits. Our lifestyles have changed and many people are consuming fast food and unhealthy products, many of which contain high levels of sugar. WHO’s health guidelines indicate that we should not consume more than six teaspoons of sugar per day. This level of consumption is leading to many illnesses in society such as diabetes.”
Food Choice, is a new application which will allow consumers to scan barcodes which will reveal ingredients to give themselves a choice as to what to put in their bodies.
A total of 2,624 schools, hospitals, cafes and such have been approached by ThaiHealth to join their programme in reducing the use of sugar in foods and drinks. Businesses are encouraged to use no more than two teaspoons of sugar per drink serving.
The Chiang Mai Low Sugar campaign will be touring schools and businesses across the north of Thailand, holding workshops and awareness activities with providers of food and beverage as well as consumers.
To date, six cafes across Chiang Mai have signed on to the project, including Wan Noy Café on the first floor of the Dental Building Chiang Mai University, who have pledged to add more fruits to their recipes to replace or reduce sugar.
Phu Payak on the first floor of the Public Health office says that they are already getting really good feedback from their customers, most of whom are government officials who tend to already be health-conscious.
Graph, Chiang Mai’s famous café on Sirimankalajarn Road has also signed on. They are now featuring their signature drink, Graph No. 18 which is a mixture of northern Thai coffee and fresh orange-juice. Graph has pledged to lessen all of its sugar in its many recipes of both food and drink across all three branches.
186 Café and Bar near Maejo University has launched its slogan, “Less sweet longer live happy more’ to promote its new recipes which use honey in the drinks rather than sugar.
And the iconic Aka AMA Coffee in front of Phra Singh temple (as well as is other two branches in Tokyo and Chiang Rai) barely uses any sugar in its regular drinks, saying that most of the international customers don’t like it sweet. The café has also replaced almond milk and honey, hoping to introduce these new replacements to their Thai customers who tend to prefer things sweet.
The project will continue to raise awareness about the excessive consumption of sugar and its dangers and hopes that businesses across Chiang Mai will begin to make changes.