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Frequent churchgoers frequently fatter
March 24th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

Frequent churchgoers frequently fatter

Young, religiously active people are more likely than their non-religious counterparts to become obese in middle age, according to new research. In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.

What is unclear from the new research is why religion might be associated with overeating.

"Churches pay more attention to obvious vices like smoking or drinking," said Matthew Feinstein, lead author of the research and fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our best guess about why is that...more frequent participation in church is associated with good works and people may be rewarding themselves with large meals that are more caloric in nature than we would like."

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Mauricio

    Я из Эстонии, очень понравилось пару фраз из поста блога моего начальника:Please do something to stop the evil devil Russia. This rtcnouy, power in this rtcnouy has done most bad in the whole world all through the history. Most bad to their own people, most to the other nations. Why nobody stops Russia!И это слова взрослого человека, наглядный пример что твориться в головах промыленных местными и зарубежными медиа источниками.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  2. huamaliano

    TO ME NOT JUST CHURCH GOERS BUT AMERICAN CULTURE WHO LIKE TO EAT A LOTS OF FOOD BEFORE THEY GO TO SLEEP MEAN GET FAT. NOT JUST THAT, LOTS OF SWETS AND CAN FOOD WITH PRESERVATIVES THAT IS FATENING. PLAS THEY DO NOT WALK EVEN 3 OR 4 BLOKS IS IN CAR, JUST NOT MENTION FAST FOOD LOVERS, LOTS OF PEOPLE GOES TO RESTAURTS AND NOT COOK HEALTY FOOD. I CAN ENTION ON AND ON.

    March 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  3. ineeda life

    the answer so obvious, people please!!!!! its the GAYS fault, cant you see that????? we MUST pray the gay away....and the fat will melt off !!!!!! lololololol

    March 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Licha

      It is good to see that many people eoqstiun the new missal. I hope they continue to speak up. It might help if one distanced oneself from the liturgy. Being a Catholic does not require one to love the liturgy or be dependent on it.Regarding the observation that the faith of the Church comes before the faith of the people (Peter Rehwaldt #5), how can that possibly be true? It is just an empty theological assertion and is indicative of dependency. The point is that this whole controversy is an opportunity for many Catholics to assert their independence. The Pope and his people are asking us to regress by meekly submitting to a bad translation. But isn't that just how control is pressed on believers? The new missal is about just that: control, coercion, manipulation Given the recent track record of the our spiritual authorities we should not believe in their good intentions. This whole mess should make many believers ask themselves why our bishops, popes and cardinals have caused so much suiffering. But I am not optimistic; most will swallow their pride and neo-catholics will continue to exult.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  4. Krystal

    This is the stupidest article I have ever read!

    March 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  5. WWJD

    Isn't gluttony a sin? Am I wrong about this?

    March 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  6. Reality

    Some of it is the evolutionary response to famine.

    e.g. the potato famine in Catholic Ireland with many of the starving coming to the fat-laden USA overflowing with high-calorie dairy products and red meat.

    Then there is this problem?

    Does sitting on our rears eating snacks and gulping beer while watching football, baseball, hockey and basketball games all year count as going to church? "Couch-potatoity"???

    March 25, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  7. Zee

    I have decades of experience with church going folk. The variety of churchgoers in my experience are fat (and were they ever FAT. Supersized would accurately describe...) because the church they went to forbid everything. Sports were wrong – they took away time the congregration could have spent in prayer, bible study or attending one of the too numerous services their church held. The women couldn't wear pants, so they had trouble going to the gym or jogging because they stuck out like a sore thumb in their long skirts. Bowling was a sin. Movies were a sin. Dating was a sin. Most books and magazines were the Devil's work. Any music except gospel was a sin. Dancing was a sin. Aerobic exercise, even to staunch gospel music, was dangerously close to dancing – something we could only do in the mildest of ways during a church service to praise the Lord – so the Aerobercise was also out. And again, anytime doing anything other than prayer, study, church attendance was supposed to be used to work, clean your house to the n-th degree in case Jesus showed up, run necessary errands and then hot foot it back to church. Also, they forewent personal responsibility – even for fatness. The fatties would talk of how they were going to pray the pounds off. Every problem (even obesity) was a matter for the Lord to address. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. They was little or no acknowledgement that perhaps God's way of helping us out comes through things like nutritional knowledge and sound medical advice. To concede to this was considered lack of faith. And then placing a lot of value on thinness was also viewed as wordly. So, when your beliefs curtail your physical activity and nix most forms of non-food entertainment, what do you do? EAT.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • JON GARVEY

      Hahahahahaha!!! Well said and hillarioius.

      March 25, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Delaney

      From what it seems the church going group you grew up with is an uber-conservative environment. While I understand some of your responses are meant in a joking manner, please know that not ALL Christians believe this. Nothing frustrates me more when Christians, or anyone for that matter, are generalized to fit one stereotype. I'm a Christian and I am not fat by any means. I love playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, enjoy the occassional walk with my husband, love wearing pants, and would love to go bowling if it weren't $50 a game (oh, the prices in a small town). Nothing in my studies has shown any of my above actions to be a sin.

      Please don't use your experience growing up, or any encouter, to generalize every Christian to be lazy and close-minded (anytime you accuse someone of being close-minded, you've become close-minded yourself). Know that there are many of us out there wanting you to know that Christianity is not meant to be a rule-oriented life style as you have described above.

      March 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • KJ

      Wow, sorry you were in a cult that billed itself as Christian. Sounds like the church elders had some serious control issues going on. I think that's the problem with many congregations. Another major reason many active churchmembers may be fat is that the other members are; that's simple, if subconscious, peer pressure. It would be interesting to know the education level and denominations involved in this study. Both would point to how much one is encouraged to think for and improve oneself in all aspects. God did give us a brain, healthy food, and ways to get active, here on earth. .

      March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  8. RobA

    It's fairly obvious why this is. Ever been to a church bake sale, or a church picnic? It's like a medieval feast. In fact, a lot of the social events held by churches are centered around food. Sharing food is just the most effective way to form social bonds. Of course, no one is forcing them to serve nothing but fattening, unhealthy food...except for the idea that health food is "un-American." They're doing it to themselves. Put down the foot-long bratwurst and deep-fried steak and pick up a celery stick, for God's sake.

    March 25, 2011 at 10:28 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.