The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Sri Lanka worries about overweight monks, plans for guidelines for donating food


COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's health ministry announced plans on Tuesday to draw up new guidelines for donating food to the country's venerated Buddhist monks amid concerns about their weight and health.

The ministry said the faithful, who offer alms as a religious tradition, tended to give food that was too high in fat and sugar, and monks were developing preventable health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

"The Medical Research Institute has been asked to prepare menus that could be used for alms givings," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the new guidelines would be issued next month.

"The food that is offered is tasty and very rich and it causes immense health problems for monks," it said.