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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 14:18 GMT
Thailand launches 'bust-boosting' exercises
Mass aerobics work-out in Bangkok
Thailand's health ministry says exercises can help
The authorities in Thailand have launched a campaign to encourage women to enlarge their breasts through exercises rather than plastic surgery.

Women will have their excellent bodies without any need for chemical injections or plastic surgery

Pennapa Sabcharoen, Thai Health Ministry
Dozens of women demonstrated breast-toning exercises in front of a crowd of officials and television cameras outside the health ministry in the capital, Bangkok.

The city is renowned for its inexpensive, but not always reliable, plastic surgeons.

Cosmetic surgery is an extremely popular and lucrative business in Thailand, espcially among women who feel their breast do not measure up to the images they see in Hollywood films.

But critics argue that instead of the new campaign the government should persuade Thai women to overcome their obsession with the size of their chests.

'Excellent bodies'

In an almost surreal scene, rows of women in shorts and T-shirts massaged and squeezed their breasts in front of the crowd of officials, media and onlookers on a busy Bangkok street.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
The prime minister urged people to exercise and eat nutritious food

The health ministry said the idea was to show Thai women that there was another, more natural way, of boosting their breast size than plastic surgery.

"Women will have their excellent bodies without any need for chemical injections or plastic surgery," Pennapa Sabcharoen from the Health Ministry told the AFP news agency.

But she said the initiative would not cut into the country's huge cosmetic surgery business.

"This group is not the target group for plastic surgery. I don't think it will affect that kind of business much at all," she said.

Following Tuesday's demonstration, the first government organised public exercise is scheduled for Friday - Valentine's Day.

See also:

23 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
25 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
25 Sep 02 | Country profiles
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