Sri Lanka - Buddhist monks cross off on fat food

Sri Lankan authorities have asked for help from the believers, last December, to fight against the obesity plague among the monks by asking them to offer provisions to Buddha’s soldiers containing less fat and sugar.

According to the Ministry of Health, Sri Lankan monks consume the equivalent of 12 coffee spoons per day, or at least 4 more than they should, as well as an excessive amount of salt and kitchen oil. Diabetes and other non-transmissible diseases amongst Buddhist monks can be fought if the believers follow the diet’s new ‘directives’. According to the ministry, that recommends that one portion of long rice, 3 vegetables and 2 fruits in the ordinary of the monks, half of the 40,000 monks on the Island are exposed to diabetes, against 10% of the rest of the population. Buddhism is the religion of the majority of the 20 million Sri Lankans. According to their beliefs, preparing dishes, cakes, biscuits and sweets for the monks assures them a good karma in this life and the next one. They also protect the loving ones who disappeared. The dishes are prepared with care and are generally highly caloric. The believers sometimes book a year in advance in order to have the privilege to cook for the monks.