NUTRITION ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND
under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (NAT)
Nutrition Association of Thailand
under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (NAT)
128/107 Phayathai Plaza Floor 9,
Phayathai Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Year Established : 1965
Number of Members : 1,303
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (JAN 2014 – DEC 2015)
President : Assoc.Prof.Dr.Umaporn Suthutvoravut
Vice President : Dr.Napaphan Viriyautsahakul
Secretary-General : Asst. Prof. Dr. Tipayanate Ariyapitipun
Treasurer : Miss Natthira Thongbuasirilai
Registrar : Assoc.Prof. Karunee Kwanbunjan
Public Relation : Dr.Nednapis Vatanasuchart
Academic Affair : Asst.Prof.Dr.Chatrapa Hudthagosol
Assistant Journal Editor : Assoc.Prof.Dr.Sirichai Adisakwattana
Website Manager : Asst. Prof. Dr.Nipa Rojroongwasinkul
Emeritus Prof.Dr.Chulaporn Roongpesuthipong
Miss Chitra Settaudom
Mrs. Jutaporn Srivipattana
Asst. Prof. Dr.Patcharanee Pavadhgul
Asst. Prof. Dr.Wantanee Kriengsinyos
Asst. Prof. Dr Taewee Tongdang Karrila
Asst. Prof. Dr.Pattara Sanchaisuriya
The major activities conducted by the Nutrition Association of Thailand (NAT) during 2013-2014 are as follows:
- Collaboration with the Department of Health and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation on the project entitled “Proactive nutrition initiatives” (2007 – 2008) which expanded to the current project, “Systematic approaches for optimal growth and development of Thai children center” (SOTC) (2009 – 2013).
- Collaboration with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation on the project entitled “Compilation of experiences on implementing Agriculture for School Lunch Project, an integrated-approach of food, nutrition and health in accordance with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Initiative for scaling-up to national program” (2013 – 2015).
- Collaboration with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation on the project entitled “Promotion of food innovation for reducing salt consumption” (2013 – 2015).
- Collaboration , as a Committee member, with the Committee on Linking of Food, Nutrition and Health, appointed by the National Food Committee, which facilitates and coordinates implementation of the Strategic Framework for Food Management (SFFM).
- Organizing the annual national nutrition conference, the Thailand Congress of Nutrition (since 2006).
- Publishing the Journal of Nutrition Association of Thailand.
- Organizing the Annual General assembly for the members of the Nutrition Association of Thailand.
Excerpts of key activities of the Nutrition Association of Thailand, January 2013 – December 2014
- Compilation of experiences on implementing Agriculture for School Lunch Project, an integrated-approach of food, nutrition and health in accordance with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Initiative for scaling-up to national programFor about 35 years, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has devoted herself to improve well-being of the underprivileged in Thailand. Her Royal Highness’s projects have demonstrated sounds results, as evidenced by the thousands of children whose nutrition and health status has improved. The children have been able to study in schools, and many continued studying for higher education. They have contributed to higher income and quality of life for their families in remote villages and those who have worked to build a better environment to live in. Her Royal Highness has initiated the Agriculture for School Lunch Project. Her projects have grown from one small experimental project in a few remote schools to over 745 schools in Thailand presently and expanding to other countries upon their requests. Her Royal Highness’s Initiative is a sustainable development model for improving the people capacity to reach their full potential.
For the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 5th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 2nd April 2015, NAT launched the project entitled “ compilation of experiences on implementing Agriculture for School Lunch Project, an integrated-approach of food, nutrition and health in accordance with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Initiative for scaling-up to national program” in January 2014, granted by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. In 2015, the “Healthy Kids Healthy Food” project will follow HRH’s footsteps and will scale-up HRH’s Initiative school-based project to sustainable national program, in collaboration with several key partners in health, nutrition, education, and agriculture sectors.
- Promotion of food innovation for reducing salt consumptionNAT launched the “Promotion of food innovation for reducing salt consumption” project in November 2013, in collaboration with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to raise awareness of sodium intake reduction as well as to advocate the food enterprises and the vocational education colleges to innovate the lower-sodium food products to the market. The goal of this project was to reduce sodium consumption in Thai population.
Key target groups in this project are (1) the vocational education college students and teachers, and (2) the OTOP entrepreneur members. The OTOP is the brand of products under the “One Tambon (sub-district), One Product” project, a nationwide sustainable development initiative launched by the Thai government in 2001. It aims to promote the unique products made by local communities, by utilising their indigenous skills and craftsmanship combined with available natural resources and raw materials.
The vocational education college students will have a career in food manufacturing or restaurant in the future while the OTOP entrepreneurs are small enterprise owners who presently produce local processed food. If these groups have proper knowledge and attitude in food and nutrition, including the ability to create innovative, healthy foods, they will be major forces to reduce sodium consumption and reduce the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases in Thailand.
The key activities of this project are as follows: Creating collaboration among OTOP entrepreneurs, vocational education college students and teachers, and NAT for innovation of lower-sodium food products. Analysis of sodium contents in selected OTOP foods. Organizing workshops for the target groups to provide knowledge and understanding regarding roles of sodium intakes in non-communicable diseases, identification of dietary sources of sodium as well as modifying recipes or creating food innovation. Supporting and advising the vocational education students and teachers in each college to reformulate the lower-sodium local processed food and develop completely finished products for the market. Public communication about the project and outcome was done through the health and nutrition network, mass media such as TV, newspapers, and social networks etc. This will help creating a market for their products and creating awareness among consumers. NAT also joins the network and agencies such as the Department of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop logo for food products with lower sodium content.
Survey respondents reported that the project increased the participants’ awareness of the need to reduce their sodium intake. Respondents also indicated that they will make healthier food choices and buy lower-sodium foods in the future. The vocational education college students can innovate 20 recipes of OTOP food products with 20-40% sodium reduction and accepted taste. The OTOP entrepreneur members were inspired to reduce sodium in their products. The network building among the vocational education students and teachers, the OTOP entrepreneurs, and NAT is beneficial for future development in food and nutrition. Given the success of the pilot program, plans are under way to expand the initiative.
- Collaboration, as a Committee member, with the Committee on Linking of Food, Nutrition and Health to facilitate and coordinate implementation of the Strategic Framework for Food ManagementThe Strategic Framework for Food Management (SFFM) was developed by the National Food Committee (NFC) and subsequently approved by the Cabinet in 2010. The SFFM covers four main strategic themes: food security, food quality and safety, food education, and food management. Furthermore, the NFC appointed three thematic committees to facilitate and to coordinate implementation of the SFFM. These committees are the Committee on Food Security Throughout the Food-chain, the Committee on Food Quality and Safety, and the Committee on Linking of Food, Nutrition and Health. In 2012 NAT conducted 2 projects in collaboration with the third Committee. The first project was the review of existing anthropometric, physical, and biochemical standards and indicators used for evaluating nutritional status and NCDs in the Thai population. The second project was the review and analysis of the FBDGs for Thai population. Two publications resulting from these projects are the handbook of nutrition and health indicators and the Food-Based Dietary Guidelines: review and analysis. In 2014, NAT participated in the food labelling project for development of the “Healthier Logo”.
- Thailand Congress of Nutrition (TCN)The Nutrition Association of Thailand has coordinated with its network institutions and professional societies in organizing annual conference entitled the “Thailand Congress of Nutrition” (TCN). The general objectives of the TCN are to provide a forum for new scientific evidences and encourage the exchange of knowledge and experiences among various stakeholders working in the areas of food and nutrition, to support and promote the academic network and progress in food and nutritional science, and to disseminate knowledge to the public. This congress also provides opportunity for young nutritionists to present their research works. Each TCN was attended by 800 – 1,000 participants.
In 2014, NAT together with food and nutrition networks organized the 8th Thailand Congress of Nutrition (TCN 2014) under the theme “Nutrition for health promotion and disease prevention” which was held during October 6-8, 2014 at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony and attended the keynote address entitled “Strategics of food security and nutrition”. There were 1,083 participants including nutritionists, dietitians, doctors, nurses, teachers, researchers, and practitioners in nutrition field. Key topics of the program are as follows: early life nutrition and lifelong health and diseases, nutrition for prevention of chronic diseases, food and nutrition communications for health promotion and disease prevention. In addition to plenary lectures and symposia, there were 101 free papers (oral and poster presentations). Interesting educational group activities were organized to raise public awareness for the importance of proper nutrition and exercise in health promotion as well as disease prevention. There was an exhibition entitled “Nutrition for health promotion and disease prevention in the way of Thailand” and the exhibition of food and nutrition products and technology from food and medical manufacturers, academic departments, and educational institutions. At the award ceremony, 6 awards for outstanding oral and poster presentations, an outstanding young nutritionist award, and 2 research grants were presented for young promising researchers.
- Other activitiesNAT has actively collaborated with other professional societies and institutions such as the Royal College of Physicians, the Thai Diabetes Educator Association, the Dietetics Association of Thailand, the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Mahidol University, and other academic institutions in the national campaign for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. NAT website and journal are channels for communication with NAT members and for the public to obtain proper nutrition information. NAT has joined the Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition network (SEA-PHN), as a member, in June 2014.
NAT has promoted young nutritionists in Thailand through various activities such as research grants, a young nutritionist award, registration fee waivers for fellows in nutrition, MS students, and PhD students in nutrition whose research abstracts are accepted for presentation in the annual Thailand Congress of Nutrition, and awards for outstanding poster and oral presentations.