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Why Are The Actively Religious More Plump?

There’s a new study, done by people at Northwestern University, that finds that young people who go to church often are much, much more likely to become remarkably overweight than people who don’t go to church, or go to church very rarely.

The study didn’t look into related factors that could explain why church people get obese more than people who don’t go to church. Can you think of an explanation?

6 comments to Why Are The Actively Religious More Plump?

  • Tom

    Plump is such a descriptive word! It implies couch potato-ness, and is fun to say like my other favorite: rotund. Beach ball shaped humans are generally jolly, happy types (except maybe to themselves, and not including Rush Limburger), so you may have something there.

  • Vicki

    I see that you’re not trying to be unkind just curious. . . Well, you’re right. At church I do see many friends who’re overweight. The economy plays a part because fresh anything costs more. During Fellowship most of the offerings are big on calories and low cost. I also think some folks come to church because it’s nice and fun and doesn’t cost money if you don’t or can’t tithe. Many come for companionship. I think the bottom line is money, not necessarily church. It costs more money to eat better.

  • mike

    It’s not hard to make something filling, tasty, and healthy. Even traditional in flavor. But I attend my mother’s church picnics occasionally and am amazed by the predominance of meat and empty carbs. There’s never any fruit, the salad is swimming in fat. potatoes and macaroni abound. Chicken is never baked- always deep fried. Classic comfort food.

    I am tempted to wonder if the churchgoing public are dominated by traditional values to the extent that it even dictates what they eat (it was good enough for my parents, it’s good enough for me). Even though that heritage comes from a time when people spent all day working outside and needed every calorie they could get their hands on at the dinner table just to maintain stasis.

    I did take tabbouli to one of these events and a lot of people gave it a go, so it’s not like they would refuse different things.

    • It is difficult to make something healthy, filling and tasty in a short amount of time, though, Mike. Maybe people who go to church a lot don’t have as much time as people who don’t go to church. I don’t think church service alone could account for this difference in time, though.

      Another thought that passed through my mind is the difference in stress between someone who gets to take one morning every week relatively slowly, or to catch up on home tasks, compared to someone who has to hurry out the door early even on Sunday.

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