Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« How Will You Invest in 2013? | Main | Reader Profile: SM »

January 27, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

There might be a correlation/causation issue with the article you quoted. There was no indication that they controlled for anything in their study. I know that the South is far more religious than the North East or the West Coast. People in the South also eat higher calorie higher fat diets, and don't get as much physical activity. These factors would be present regardless of religious sentiment. I doubt that church is making people fat.

I don't disagree with the findings of these studies or the need for the church to get weight under control. I see this, however, as a way for the state to control religious activities under the guise of managing health care costs. Wait and see.

What!? You'd have to get rid of one of the greatest wondrous rituals of the American church - the Sunday potluck.

I do not know about other churches, but wholeness and health have been an emphasis of my church since the 1860s. In 2004 we were part of a research on longevity (the blue zones) done by Dan Buettner and National Geographic and you can find some of their findings here: (click on Loma Linda, California).

Generally speaking, I guess I agree. Being fat because of a lack of self-control or laziness is a problem. Given the fact that our diets are steered more by prices of foods (carbs=cheap, proteins=not so much), I'm not sure that this doesn't just reflect a different focus for our money in the church. While seculars are very, very interested in their outward appearance, church members may just be tithing their gym memberships. ;-)

As for the Bible verses, I'd be careful about that "temple of the Lord" verse, as it's clear in a full reading that Paul was very specifically addressing sexual sin. This verse is plunked down right in the middle of a long, long passage on sexual misconduct creeping into the young church. In fact, that focus on health and looks is very much a pagan one. I don't advocate laziness or gluttony, but fat folks in the pews are, by and large, not fat because of sin.

I'd question if they controlled for other factors. Here is something on what I assume is the PUrdue study they referenced:

""This cause could be from less healthy eating patterns in the South, home to many Baptists," Ferraro says. "But we controlled for residency and still Baptist women were more likely to be obese. This trend could be related to the strong emphasis for Baptists to avoid alcohol and tobacco, and, as a result, many of them indulge in overeating instead. More research is needed to learn how denominations view overeating and obesity."

I think we could all learn some lessons from the spiritual discipline of fasting... ;)

I have to say that after living in the Midwest for many years, I recently started working at a Christian company and was shocked at how overweight people were on average, though for some reason I had never noticed such a phenomenon at church. I struggle with weight myself, and I definitely eat for comfort, maybe out of laziness or a lack of self-discipline. I like the idea of Dave Ramsey for the overweight crowd. That's even something more attractive to offer the community at large - I can imagine that many people are skeptical of a Dave Ramsey class at a church, assuming that the church is going to try to coerce them into giving more money or something, where a weight loss workshop has nothing really to be gained for the church.

nearly one half? i believe it's more like 80%. this will become the #1 health crisis in america by 2030.

Meh. It's just because of demographics. One of the largest concentrations of Christians are poor people living in the South. Incidentally, "poor people living in the South" are one of the heaviest groups out there. It has nothing to do with "being Christian" or "sinning" as it does with "Southern food is largely fried and full of butter".

When I was attending Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA, the majority of the Christians there were thin and beautiful. Does that mean anything about the Christians there? No...other than that "many people in Southern California in general tend to be thin and beautiful". *shrug* Silly post is silly.

I'm skeptical about the study- but even if it isn't an artifact of demographics the obesity problem is much more complex.

I suspect people today are about as good at resisting overeating as they were 50 years ago. The trick is that the environment today is radically different- much more eating out than home cooked meals, super sized food portions, cheap high fructose corn syrup foods etc.

Chaning our environment is possible- but difficult. There are huge economic advantages for food companies to make their foods more appealing, and like it or not larger portion sizes are viewed as an advantage by consumers. As you get more food for your money- even if that additional food is causing health problems.

-Rick Francis

I live in lower Alabama, and I can tell you that 1 in 3 here are obese. It's likely that 1 in the other 2 is overweight, but hasn't met the definition of obese YET. Also, there is a church on every other corner. I am not big into church, but I practice at home. I know people who are, and many of them attend programs at church from 2-4 times a week. Maybe all of these meetings take time away from physical activity or exercise. I'm not sure if it is a poor thing or not, but I do believe its geographically weighted to the south.

I do think a lot of this is driven by demographics...but regardless, these churches really DO need to do something about the obesity issue. The fundamentalist religions are usually big on self reliance and not being dependent on the government and widespread obesity clearly thwarts that goal.

Well it makes sense if you think about it! What do we do after church? We go out to eat. What happens on family nights when the kids have youth groups and such? We go to McDonalds because we don't have time to cook a meal after work. I think it's just that church goers tend to be forced to eat out alot.

That's very interesting. It could be that obese people are more likely to seek out the acceptance of a church fellowship since they are ostricized in other areas of life (work, school, etc).

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.