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Diary Of A Food Addict - Entry 13 - Weight Issues And Beliefs

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TheBluegrassSkeptic

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I've always had a tough time with losing weight after giving birth to my third child. I attributed this struggle to several things, and I assure you these reasons having to do with age and genetics was common logic being used, not sound logic. Since deciding to try and control how I make dietary decisions, I've really started looking into every aspect that affects an individual's health choices. Not surprisingly, I discovered that beliefs played a large part in this.

 

I'm sure many are familiar with CONservapedia article from awhile back that was pushing atheism leads to obesity. It's amazing when you go to find serious studies about atheism and obesity, that is pretty much all you find. If you haven't read it, save your brain matter. Most of us know that largely the site is satirical, and in this case they flagrantly abused the numbers of a Gallup poll to justify their assessment. Gallup did a study that concluded "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."

 

Hmmnn.... So that's pretty vague, and they tried to separate "very religious" from everyone else. Literally. So I realized that there was no way in hell we could get an accurate picture of obesity and atheism from the Gallup poll. There really isn't a study out there seeing what the relationship between lack of belief and obesity.

 

Now there was a recent study checking out religious adults and obesity that seemed a bit more legitimate, but still, some of the parameters were left vague. This study was conducted in over the course of 18 years following over 2400 men and women of beginning healthy weight ranges who identified as religious. Religious was defined as identifying as such and actively going to services at least once a week. This study did take in to account such factors as ethnicity, age, sex, income and bmi prior to study, as well as education. 50 percent more likely to be over weight by middle age was the result they reached. It should be noted this same research team had concluded through similar studies that concluded that there was a correlation between religious belief and middle age obesity as well. Specifically related to one another at a single point in time. The researchers also emphasize this is not a reflection on overall health, and that this is more than related to the types of foods presented at church functions, like pot luck dinners etc.

 

This study, while it is true it appeals to my desire for justifying my beliefs, does in fact offer some interesting points. First being, could one helping of potato salad, a side of marshmallow salad, and meatloaf, really be such a bad influence, even if only once a week? I don't think so. I know this study says they took into account race and age, income too, but I think the home life influences things way more than church food.

 

This leads me to my own thoughts. Could it not be the food that enables obesity amongst the very religious, but a combination of religious aversion to science? Could it be the socioeconomic issues surrounding the prioritization of God over health? You know, the whole "our real reward is in Heaven" mindset so that folks could give less of a shit about their pants size?

 

I lean on those two quite a bit. A large percentage of their findings came out of the Bible Belt and the South. There's a surprise.... I believe that is I were living in the South or Bible Belt again, I would still be overweight, though I think even heavier than I am now, more so due to the poverty and lack of decent educational programs being advertised in the area.

 

Previous Northwestern Medicine research established a correlation between religious involvement and obesity in middle-age and older adults at a single point in time. 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.

The research is being presented at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.- See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/03/religious-young-adults-obese.html#sthash.ZGEXjGPS.dpuf

 

Previous Northwestern Medicine research established a correlation between religious involvement and obesity in middle-age and older adults at a single point in time. 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.

The research is being presented at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.- See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/03/religious-young-adults-obese.html#sthash.ZGEXjGPS.dpuf

 

Previous Northwestern Medicine research established a correlation between religious involvement and obesity in middle-age and older adults at a single point in time. 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.

The research is being presented at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.- See more at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/03/religious-young-adults-obese.html#sthash.ZGEXjGPS.dpuf

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