Thai policemen with waistlines larger than 40 inches have been ordered to reduce their weight in order to look good when they direct traffic, the police department announced Tuesday.
Recent medical examinations of 4,150 police officers in Bangkok found that 49 percent have high cholesterol and are overweight, which is "an obstacle" in directing traffic, said a statement from the Metropolitan Police Bureau.
Eighty-eight of the overweight officers whose waistlines ranged between 40 and 49 inches were ordered to join the "Smart Police," a one-month weight-loss program.
Participants will have to eat according to doctors' instructions and meet for daily exercise and evening meals at the Bangkok hospital sponsoring the program.
Those who do not show progress will also undergo acupuncture, a Chinese medical practice believed to help cure many ills, including obesity.
"We hope this will help create a better image of traffic police in the public's eyes," said police Maj. Gen. Montri Chamroon, explaining why the police force wants them to "look smart."
It was not announced what would be done with officers who failed to reduce their girth.