Acknowledging a significant toll from heart attacks among migrant workers in South Korea, Long Dimanche, Cambodia’s ambassador to the country, exhorted workers to take care of their bodies and ease off the instant noodles, especially in the cold months.
“Winter has arrived with its cold weather, so all Khmer workers must increase vigilance on health problems, especially heart attacks,” said a message posted by Mr. Dimanche to his Facebook page on Monday.
The post recommended workers take 2 km walks every day, and eat foods “rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, and foods without fat, salt and calories.” It also advised them to cut smoking and minimize stress.
The post followed a year’s- end announcement on Sunday in which Mr. Dimanche said at least 10 Cambodians—of about 56,000 living in South Korea—had died of heart attacks in the past year.
“No one was satisfied with the death of our workers,” he said. “We have followed up with these cases to learn the cause of death, and found that a number of our brothers and sisters don’t take care of their health, although the majority of them are laborers in the agriculture, industry and construction sectors.”
He added that many migrant workers, despite earning relatively good money, fell into the temptation of eating easy food like instant noodles, making them “weak.”
Increased cardiovascular failure in the winter is a well-documented phenomenon in temperate climates, particularly in urban areas with greater socioeconomic inequality. Researchers report a variety of contributing factors to winter deaths, including the physiological effects of cold and associated lifestyle factors.