Does God Make You Fat?

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Researchers from the Northwestern University noticed there's something strange about religion: it's making people fatter.

We don't recall any of the commandments saying "thou shall eat chocolate cake," but an unusual new study has found that people who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to battle obesity by middle age.

God only knows why. The scientists sure don't.

"We don't know why frequent religious participation is associated with development of obesity," said Matthew Feinstein, the study's lead investigator and a fourth-year student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It's possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity."

The study tracked nearly 2,500 men and women over 18 years. They filtered for age, race, sex, education, income and baseline body mass index. The last one's important, because it shows that the religious were getting fatter, not that fat people were getting religious.


See also: Dear Lord, If You Can't Make Me Skinny, Please Make My Friends Fat!

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Kids! Religious people or more likely to have children. Women put on something like 15 lbs with each subsequent child. you eat garbage kiddie meals when you are a parent. it's all about the kiddies.
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All valid points, I reckon, but what I thought was that if you're of lower Eco-social status, you're more likely to be less educated, and thus less likely to be educated about health, nutrition, exercise etc.
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I need to know which demographics this applies to. My speculation is that it applies to Americans mostly. American Christianity in whatever form (Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, etc...) is pretty far from even a literal interpretation of the Bible. American Religion is more like a clique, posse or group that people get a sense of belonging to.

It very rarely relates to anagogical spiritual practices which are the root of religion world-wide.

It bothers me that CBS doesn't post the name of the research(ers). I have to read the actual paper on stuff like this, I don't trust media to interpret it for me.
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I don't think a weekly potluck or donuts after Sunday service are enough to make you fat/obese. There must be something different about their lifestyles all seven days of the week.
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There are all sorts of other possible factors not mentioned - as one article on the subject mentioned, believers are less likely to smoke, and smoking is an appetite reducer. Also, Hispanics are more likely to be religious, and they are also more likely to be overweight & obese (see other studies for possible reasons) - so the correlation may have nothing to do with religion itself.

Also, color me not surprised at snarky atheist comments on the internet, at all. I thought plugging everything into one interpretative framework was supposed to be what religious people did?
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