Turkish Muslims plan to resort to appetite suppressing diet patches to help them get through the daily fast during the Ramadan holy month, Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.
One of the most popular questions asked on a helpline run by Turkey's religious affairs directorate is "whether diet patches are suitable for fasting" and "whether the use of diet patches will amount to foul play," the report said.
Theologists have reassured them they have nothing to worry about.
"Fasting is a way of disciplining the body. Those who use diet patches try to achieve the same. That's why diet patches are not objectionable," said Mehmet Baris, the muftu, or highest Muslim authority, in the southern province of Adana.
The patches, which release appetite-suppressing ingredients to the body through the skin, cannot be considered as corrupting the fast because their effect amounts to "showering or applying a pomade on the skin" rather than eating, theology professor Kerim Yavuz said.
During Ramadan, which starts on September 1, observant Muslims eat a light pre-dawn meal and fast until sunset, a practice aimed at fostering self-discipline, sacrifice and empathy for the poor.