Diet & Weight Magazine

Why is There an Obesity Epidemic Among Thai Monks?

By Dietdoctor @DietDoctor1

Why is there an obesity epidemic among Thai monks?

A common misconception is that people in Asia are generally thinner compared to people in the Western countries. It might have been true once but times have changed.

A new New York Times article describes the obesity wave in Thailand : One in three Thai men and 40% of women are now obese. The country is now the second-heaviest in Asia, after Malaysia. Buddhist monks are at the forefront of the problem in Thailand where nearly half are obese.

How is that possible?

In Buddhist Thai tradition monks are given food by almsgivers, which secure them good karma in this life and next. Back in the day, monks were given whole foods but today they mostly get sugary drinks and generally storebought packaged items high in sugar.

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.

As large parts of Asia is adapting to this junk food that constitutes the standard American diet the obesity wave keeps on getting worse. Hopefully, the monks and the Thai population can go back to their old eating habits and stop this negative trend.

Read the full article on obesity in Thailand here:

NYT: In Thailand, 'Obesity in Our Monks Is a Ticking Time Bomb'


Dr. Ludwig in the NYT: The toll of America's obesity Reflections on humans held captive in a carbohydrate culture

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