Does Going to Church Make You Fat?

Alternate title: Get off the pew, Fat A@%

fat_christians According to research from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to turn into obese middle-agers than those with no religious involvement.

The researchers acknowledge there are many potential explanations for the association between religious participation and obesity.

  • One may simply be that religious gatherings often may center around eating traditional, high-calorie comfort foods, said Matthew Feinstein, the study's lead investigator.
  • Or perhaps, young adults with a propensity toward weight problems find more acceptance and less judgment in church groups.
  • Maybe religious faith gives some sort of physiological high similar to physical exercise, but without the burn off of calories.
  • Or maybe, as Purdue University sociologist  Ken Ferraro has suggested with his previous work, "churches are a feeding ground for gluttony and obesity."

Baptist women are at highest risk of obesity, followed by Fundamental Protestants, according to Ferraro's work.

Found at the Chicago Tribune