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Thread: Religion linked to Obesity

  1. #1
     is offline I was not born under a rhyming planet.
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    Religion linked to Obesity

    http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-p...ty-to-religion

    The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine just released a study which tracked 2433 young adults for 18 years and discovered that there is a correlation between religion and obesity. In fact, it is more than just a correlation:

    “By tracking participants’ weight gain over time, the new study makes it clear that normal-weight younger adults with high religious involvement became obese, rather than obese adults becoming more religious.”

    According to the study, young adults who attend religious functions at least once a week are 50% more likely to become obese by the time they reach middle-age than non-religious Americans.
    I laughed a lot when I read this. It's quite interesting actually.

    The theories for this is:

    1. That religious people are more likely to care about an afterlife and less likely to care about their current life. and

    2. That religious people mistrust the weight loss industry because it is scientifically based.

    Both of which are fairly ridiculous ones. I'd think it might have something to do with the fact that traditional "church" foods tends to be quite unhealthy. And that a traditional view on life might lead to a traditional view on diet. If people are living lifestyles where they are rigorous in one sense they may be less likely to change other things as well?

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


  2. #2
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    I think it's a combination of things. I suppose you could argue for the ideas of "God made me this way, so I'm fine just as I am (obese)," and "I'll be skinny in the afterlife!"

    If you look at it carefully, though, where are the most religious people in America? Primarily, the Bible Belt. Where is the Bible Belt? The South. Where is America's obesity epidemic most prolific? The South. Hmm.

    Kids who are raised in the Bible Belt are far more likely to be religious both as youths and as adults, and they're also statistically more likely to be overweight or obese.

    Now, why people in the South in particular are more likely to be overweight or obese is a more commonly debated issue. Points often brought up include poverty and a prevalence of a certain type of calorie-dense cuisine.

    I think this probably has less to do with religion directly, and more to do with local cultures that encourage religion AND obesity, at the same time.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

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  3. #3
     is offline I was not born under a rhyming planet.
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    I was thinking about this, actually, regarding to my husbands family. They're religious and extremely rigorous in their ways. Anything that deviates from the norm isn't taken very well. And that includes diet changes. They had a problem with his fathers weight for a while (he's in the army) and instead of changing their diet from the foundation, as in cutting down on the drinking, not having gravy with every second meal and eliminating high-fat foods he ate those diet pills that prevents your body from absorb the fat, chose a low-cal full-strength beer and cut down the slices of bread with dinner from three to one and switched to a wholemeal variety instead of white bread.

    Sure, along with increased exercise he did lose weight, but it's not like he made any real effort to make a lifestyle change. He still drank the same amount; favored the fatty foods heavily, despite the nasty side effects it caused him due to the pills; and he still demanded bread to soak up his gravy with.

    I think it's because in strongly religious families dissent from the status quo is not accepted.
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


  4. #4
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    I'm really not that surprised. If someone is really involved in their church, odds are that they go to a lot of cookouts, potlucks, dinners, recitals, etc. etc. etc. So, lots of sweet food, junk food, and other unhealthy options on a regular basis. Along with the fact, that at least the ones I know, super religious people don't spend much time actually playing outside, but inside reading, cleaning, or taunting people on the internet, they don't get much activity. I can't stress enough that this is a personal observation of mine based on the super-religious people that I do know.

    I'd be willing to bet a study done on parents who have kids that are really active at school, you would see the same trend. Of people who are really active at work (this would depend more on career choice though, I suppose). Busy life + lots of parties and events = junk for food on a regular basis = weight gain.

    I'll have to find it, but I think there was also a recent study that showed that those more involved with their church would be more likely to lose weight. I'll see if I can find it.

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    Rules make you fat!!!

    Repressing anger, sexuality, and pretty much anything else that is pleasurable makes one stress eat...it's the only thing left. I mean, one *has* to eat.
    "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
    instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
    which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinkle View Post
    Rules make you fat!!!

    Repressing anger, sexuality, and pretty much anything else that is pleasurable makes one stress eat...it's the only thing left. I mean, one *has* to eat.
    I thought gluttony was a sin though...?

  7. #7
     is offline I was not born under a rhyming planet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoseKitten View Post
    I thought gluttony was a sin though...?
    You obviously have not met my highly religious, gluttonous and prideful in-laws.
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ćon Flux View Post
    You obviously have not met my highly religious, gluttonous and prideful in-laws.
    Oh, I'm sure I have family just like them. I keep my mouth shut unless they start to give me grief about how I'm going to hell. Their fate with their own creator is for them to worry about, not me. I think it's funny, personally.

  9. #9
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    nah. I've been overweight all my life and I'm anything but hyper-religious.

    I just like food. LOL.


  10. #10
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    Oh yeah, I believe it. When my dad was still a pastor he had an interesting conversation with a man who told him God didn't care how our bodies looked, only our souls matter; in the end, we'll have glorified bodies, so who cares? (Do I really need to mention the dude was fat?)

    Needless to say, my father was dismayed for the rest of the day
    "If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Remember your spirituality" - Ganesha to a friend in a dream, 2008



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