London, Aug 1: Pot-bellied Buddhist monks, striving to reach spiritual enlightenment, could be hampered in their pursuit of nirvana because of obesity and lifestyle diseases, a study has suggested.
A study of Buddhist monks in Thailand has found that nearly half of them are obese and blames their weight gain on sweet treats given to them by worshipers, Daily Mail reported.
A study of 246 monks from the Dhammayuttika Nikaya and Mahayana movements in 11 Thai provinces showed how nearly half of them were clinically obese and suffering from lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Statistics showed that 45 percent of the monks in the study were either obese or morbidly obese, a serious health condition, and 40 percent face diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
They are also more likely to develop allergies due to their rich, oily, sugary diet.
One of the major causes was the amount of fizzy, sugar-loaded drinks drunk by monks, particularly in the evenings when they abstain from eating.
The research pointed to the oily, sweet foods monks are offered by worshipers being the reason behind these Buddhist monks’ unhealthy lifestyle.
Food is traditionally offered to monks as they seek alms on the streets.