Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

International Studies- Asian Studies

First Advisor

Ellison Findly

Second Advisor

Janet Bauer

Third Advisor

Zadye Antrim

Abstract

There is no question that the United States is a country that is currently faced with serious health epidemics, such as hypertension and diabetes, associated with being overweight and obese. It has been the assumption of the government and the public that the large food corporations are to blame for the country’s poor health. However, it is too simplistic to believe that tighter regulations upon corporations would alone lead to improved health. There needs to be a change at the individual level, and of the practices of most of the country’s citizens. Through an analysis of three Asian religions (Hindu Ayurveda, Daoism and Zen Buddhism), this thesis will explore the ways in which the founding principles and philosophies of each of these religions serve to promote longer, healthier, and happier lives among the respective practitioners. This study is in no way promoting a shift in people’s religious beliefs, but explains how the philosophies and concepts that lie at the center of these religions can be employed in any person’s daily life and overall ethos to improve health, both through nutritional changes and accepting a more spiritual mindset. The United States is at a critical moment as it pertains to the country’s health, as the rates of these nutrition-based epidemics continue to rise. If these philosophies can be adopted on the individual level, the country will see a much healthier relationship to both food and nature.

Comments

Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.