NHK World: The Raw Story
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People in Thailand are dealing with a growing problem...their waistlines. The World Health Organization says one in every four Thais is overweight. NHK WORLD's Dhra Dhirakaosal has the story of one woman who's trying a fresh approach to eating well.This is a canteen of an electronics plant in the suburbs of Bangkok. It's open 24 hours a day.
Many of the dishes are rich in oil and sugar. One costs only about 50 cents -- half the normal price.
The rice is free. Customers can eat as much as they want.
"If our employees become more obese, it'll create problems for our firm." Sampan Silapanad / Vice president, Western Digital ThailandAki Yamato from Japan works for the electronics maker as a diet and nutrition advisor.
Yamato says she used to work too hard at her old job. She didn't think much about what she ate. But after developing a colon disease she realized the importance of a healthy diet.
"It's important for firms to make their employees fit. I wanted to be an expert in the field and set up a company to that end." Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition advisorEating raw vegetables isn't traditional in Thailand. Yamato decides to introduce a salad bar. She sources ingredients from a local organic farm. These beans are rich in fiber and can prevent overeating.
"Thailand has lots of healthy vegetables. If we put them together, they'll make a good salad." FarmerOn the day the salad bar opens, organic vegetables arrive fresh from the farm.
A special dressing is made from fish sauce -- a signature ingredient in Thai food.
"I hope they like it!" Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition advisoWhat do the employees think?
"The vegetables are fresh --- and delicious!" Employee
"This salad tastes great --- and looks healthy. I'll keep eating it." Employee
"I've seen my efforts pay off. I'll work harder so everyone here can eat food that's good for their health." Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition advisorMany people in Thailand think food that's low in calories is also low in taste. Yamato hopes she's made a small contribution to convince people that eating healthily is anything but boring.