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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 03:36 GMT
Go easy on the doughnuts - Sharon
Ariel Sharon at his cabinet meeting on Sunday
Sharon is expected to make a full recovery from his stroke
Israel's portly prime minister has advised fellow Jews celebrating Hanukkah to go easy on festive potato pancakes and doughnuts.

Ariel Sharon is back at work after suffering a mild stroke a week ago and has been urged to lose weight by US President George W Bush among others.

"You have permission to eat... but I recommend you don't overdo it," he said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

Mr Sharon's exact weight appears to be a closely guarded state secret.

Cabinet ministers laughed on Sunday when he offered his tip for the eight-day festival, which commemorates an ancient Jewish victory over foreign conquerors.

The day before Mr Sharon was admitted to hospital, he was reportedly seen feasting on kebabs, steaks in sauce, lamb ribs, salads and various cakes.

A journalist with Israel's Maariv newspaper described it as "a typical Sharon menu".

The prime minister's armoured convoy also reportedly made regular stops for fast food in the past.

Mr Sharon, 77, apparently likes to joke that his security services have not found an armoured vest large enough for his girth.

Sharon urged to curb his appetite
21 Dec 05 |  Middle East
Israeli PM Sharon leaves hospital
20 Dec 05 |  Middle East
Profile: Ariel Sharon
19 Dec 05 |  Middle East


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