Obesity in Thailand’s Monks a Ticking Time Bomb

by Reshma Anand on Mar 18 2016 1:03 PM

Obesity in Thailand’s Monks a Ticking Time Bomb
The faithful followers of Buddhism in Thailand are reportedly facing health issues due to a rise in their body weight. Buddhist monks are offered donations by the visitors and this has been the reason for the obesity among them. //
Donations are mostly cholesterol-rich foods and sugary drinks such as instant tea, coffee and juices. These holy men are banned from rejecting donations by their religious guidelines.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok found that more than 300,000 monks are obese. The study also revealed that 48 percent of monks are obese, 42 percent of monks have high cholesterol levels, 23 percent suffer from high blood pressure, and more than 10 percent are diabetic.

Not only obesity has increased the risk of other diseases but has also caused an adverse effect on the government as it pays their medical expenses. Monks lifestyle do not involve much activity as they are always chanting prayers or meditating.

Therefore, a pilot program was conducted to encourage these monks to cook balanced meals and for promoting healthy eating habits. After eight weeks, the program successfully led to the decrease in weight of around 300 monks, among whom the program was conducted. They found that the monks lost 1kg on average and their waistlines were reduced by 1.4 cm.