Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
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23-03-2011, 11:27 PM
Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- New research finds that people who frequently attend religious services are significantly more likely to become obese by the time they reach middle age.

The study doesn't prove that attending services is fattening, nor does it explain why weight might be related to faith. Even so, the finding is surprising, especially considering that religious people tend to be in better health than others, said study author Matthew J. Feinstein, a medical student at Northwestern University in Chicago.

"It highlights a particular group that appears to be at a greater risk of becoming obese and remaining obese," he said. "It's a group that may benefit from targeted anti-obesity interventions and from obesity prevention programs."

Scientists have been studying links between religious behavior and health for years, and have found signs that there's a positive connection between the two. The studies suggest that religious involvement -- whether it's private or public -- is linked to things like better physical health, less depression and more happiness, said Jeff Levin, director of Baylor University's Program on Religion and Population Health.

But researchers have also found signs that people who attend services put on more weight. In the new study, which will be released Wednesday at an American Heart Association conference in Atlanta, researchers sought to follow people over time to see what happened to them. They examined a previous long-term study that tracked 2,433 people who were aged 20 to 32 in the mid-1980s.

Most of the participants were women, and 41 percent were black.

After adjusting their statistics to take into account factors such as race, the researchers found that 32 percent of those who attended services the most became obese by middle age, Feinstein said.

By contrast, only 22 percent of those who attended services the least became obese.

What might explain obesity among those who attend services regularly? There are plenty of theories.

Levin said one possibility is that those who attend services, along with activities such as Bible study and prayer groups, could be "just sitting around passively instead of being outside engaging in physical activity."

Also, he said, "a lot of the eating traditions surrounding religion are not particularly healthy; for example, constant feasts or desserts after services or at holidays -- fried chicken, traditional kosher foods cooked in schmaltz (chicken fat), and so on."

There's another question: Why might religious people be obese yet still have good health? The fact that fewer are smokers might help explain that, Feinstein said.

Whatever the case, he said, the study points to the role that places of worship could play in reducing obesity.

"They can become part of the solution," explained Dr. Daniel P. Sulmasy, a professor of medicine and ethics at the University of Chicago, perhaps by increasing awareness of obesity and holding health fairs.

"Pastors, especially those in poor neighborhoods, could champion programs for more fresh produce and less fast food in their neighborhoods," Sulmasy added.

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/arti...>1=31036

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23-03-2011, 11:47 PM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
I guess they don't want to be reminded that Gluttony was one of the seven deadly sins.

Although it doesn't sound like the survey was balanced enough. Since 41% of the participants were black, and only about 12% of the US population is black. Sounds like the survey was done in one area and it could be a local phenomenon.

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24-03-2011, 05:56 AM
 
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
If this is indeed the case (which I am skeptical about), perhaps it is because people are thinking about god too much and not about their self image, and along with that they might find a mate within the church so it's not like they have to try hard to attract somebody. The one theory mentioned "constant feasts or desserts after services or at holidays" I always see bake sales and stuff and churches so that is quite likely a factor.
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24-03-2011, 11:30 AM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
If you look at maps of the US, overlapping the BB with the states with the highest obesity rates, they overlap. Religious people live in the South. Fat people live in the South. Black people live in the South. I don't know where exactly the causation/correlation/coincidence lies, but if the study was done in the South, where most religious people are, this only makes sense to me.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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24-03-2011, 12:57 PM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
Perhaps they don't care about their body image, because Jesus will whisk them up to heaven where they will get their slim form back again.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

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24-03-2011, 01:13 PM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
Well I'm fat and I'm not religious.
Maybe sitting down for too long during mass is detrimental to health or something , I don't get how these things fit together.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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24-03-2011, 10:11 PM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
I don't really know WHY they fit together, but speaking only from personal observation, they seem to.

People in the South are different from Northerners in MANY ways.

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25-03-2011, 06:28 AM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
The active part is a huge contributor of it in Missouri. The people I know the more moderate they are the skinnier they are.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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25-03-2011, 07:27 AM
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
Well there is a rumor I know that laughing makes you get fat - LOL Tongue

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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25-03-2011, 09:23 AM
 
RE: Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
I would agree this survey doesn't sound fair from the jump.

However, I would also agree about the gluttony part of the 7 deadly and how so many religious seem to over look that scripture. Along with a huge number of others, as they worship and selectively apply their personal bigotries citing scripture compels them. Rolleyes

There's a female minister in the southern part of our State who's on the local broadcast channel every Sunday. She says in her sermons she use to be a prostitute and a drug addict, and then she found Jesus. She's morbidly obese to the point that she carries a hand towel with her on stage so she can wipe the sweat, so heavy she looks like she's under a shower head, from her face as she wears long sleeve gowns that reach to her toes. Even in July hella hot weather, while her church is not air conditioned! Her breathing is so labored from the time she leaves the podium to make her walk across the stage, because she rarely stands still, that I swear she's going to die right there from heart failure. In fact, when I surf the cable channels and see she's on the air, I do stop to see just how riled up she gets and to see if that show is her last.
Evil, I know, but considering the bias that comes out of her mouth for everything I stand for, in the name of her Jesus, I figure we're even.
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