|Thai cops aim to be biggest losers
Sometimes it seems the only thing more common than a traffic jam in Thailand's capital is a fat police officer trying to ease it.
While not much can be done about the clogged roads, an effort is under way to whip Thailand's potbellied policemen in shape with the start of a 12-day boot camp this week.
About 60 of the overweight officers from around the country are taking part in the dawn-to-dusk exercise and lecture programs on living more healthy at a police training center in a Bangkok suburb, AP reports.
Wearing T-shirts with a “Get rid of the belly'' slogan, they start with pre-dawn jogs followed by yoga, aerobic dance classes, tai chi, and nutrition lectures.
The biggest weight loser at the end of the program wins 5,000 baht (US$160), a bonus for underpaid police.
“The school children call me `Uncle Fat' all the time, but I don't mind. I'm more concerned about my health, because I have diabetes,'' said Sgt Maj Wanchat Phonorthong, a 49-year-old traffic officer who weighs 133 kilograms and is 185 centimeters tall.
“I'm going to lose some of my belly because they have me work out every day and they only give me half the food I usually eat. It's torture but I have to do it for myself,'' he said.
Annual checkups last year for Thailand's 200,000 police officers showed that the five most common concerns were obesity, high cholesterol, liver problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.