Catholic leader ordered to stop eating pasta as a result of weight gain

Reports say the 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff has appeared noticeably fatter during public appearances over the last few months, with doctors attributing the weight gain to too much spaghetti and ravioli and not enough exercise

Pope Francis prays during Palm Sunday Mass

Pope Francis has been told by doctors at the Vatican to stay away from pasta, after gaining extra weight since being elected as head of the Roman Catholic Church two years ago.

Reports say the 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff has appeared noticeably fatter during public appearances over the last few months, with doctors attributing the weight gain to too much spaghetti and ravioli and not enough exercise.

Vatican doctors told Ansa, Italy's national news agency, that the Pope needs to adopt a more "disciplined" regimen in order to try to combat the stress and strain that he is under as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

They have advised him to eat pasta no more than two times a week.

The Pope, who has only one fully functioning lung, takes no holidays, deals with an enormous amount of correspondence and has embarked on reform of the Vatican's murky financial institutions.

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