Even monks have a sweet tooth?

August 22, 2018—The Buddha is often shown in two guises: either rolly polly or gaunt. In Thailand, the rolly-polly model of plenitude has become a national concern. That’s because the waistlines of the country’s Buddhist monks are rapidly growing thanks to a taste for sugary drinks and sweets.

Thailand ranks high for obesity—but far short of U.S. rates, which lead the pack. Today, nearly half of Thai monks are obese. In June, public health officials urged laypeople to offer healthier alms to monks, who in the Buddhist tradition roam the streets each dawn in their saffron robes to collect their daily meals. After noon, only soda pop and energy drinks sustain them. Image credit: Amanda Mustard for The New York Times News source: Muktita Suhartono, “In Thailand, ‘Obesity in Our Monks Is a Ticking Time Bomb’,” The New York Times, August 12, 2018