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In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.
The upshot of the new research, said Feinstein, is that knowing there may be an obesity problem among church-goers provides a captive audience for intervention. "The real value of the study is not understanding why," said Feinstein. "What this study does is highlights a group that could potentially benefit from targeted anti-obesity initiatives. That's exciting because there is a lot of infrastructure already in place in religious communities."
I love these tags. What a ridiculous article. I mean "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." How ridiculous. I know for a fact whenever I speak anywhere, the people who invite me over to a meal throw a feast. People DO that. That's not rewarding Myself!
Anyway, this is the sort of correlation-causation confusion that is really apparent here but winds up not being so apparent in other places. So if I think "I need to go to the store that is to my left" and when I go left I wind up bumping into a friend who I preach the Gospel to, I imagine that God caused me to go left by placing a thought in my head! Etc.
I would say that obesity is a problem in the main for the Western world, and America certainly seems to be leading the way in the obesity stakes, perhaps it is more to do with American culture than religious affiliation.
Not sure of the stats of those that practice different faiths, but strict dietary requirements are fairly obvious in other religions, as well as some sects within Christianity.
I thought that as almost everyone (87%) in American attends church? so perhaps to a certain extent they have a point about teaching temperance in all things, it's interesting.
Here in the UK, I would say that obesity it is more related to class and education, could that be applied to the States as well?
One of my atheist friends posted this article on his Facebook yesterday. His comment regarding it was equally humorous:
"Christians simply blame it on their God when they can't lose weight so they don't even try. They often blame their lack of personal accountability of action on gods will."
Just thought I'd share.
No, it's not saying correlation is causation at all. It's saying church-goers are in a high risk group for becoming obese. That's simply correlation. Causation is the part of the puzzle the article very plainly says they don't know. Several theories are offered, but none definitively accepted as the cause because they really can't say that for certain and they know it.
Anyway, that's a pretty basic conclusion based on the information. Way more church goers are fat than non-church goers are; therefore being a church goer may put one at higher risk for becoming fat.
That's really all it's saying once you remove the the different theories.