In Thailand, ‘Obesity in Our Monks Is a Ticking Time Bomb’
Source: The New York Times
BANGKOK — The Buddha, in his laughing incarnation, is often depicted with a jolly smile and a giant, quivering belly. That model of plenitude seems ever more apt in Thailand, where the waistlines of the country’s Buddhist monks have expanded so much that health officials have issued a nationwide warning.
In June, officials from Thailand’s Public Health Department urged laypeople to offer healthier alms to monks, who pour from temples in their saffron robes each morning to roam the streets collecting their meals in the Buddhist tradition.
Amporn Bejapolpitak, the department’s deputy director general, also suggested that monks add more physical activity — like cleaning their temples — to their sedentary lives of prayer and meditation.