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From CNN's blog, The Chart - "Frequent Churchgoers Frequently Fatter."

Second sentence in the article:
In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.

So, correlation equals causation?

Last few sentences in the article:
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."

Now, if I've ever read anything more agenda driven - I don't know where. I mean, the article concluded with this. Really?

Tags: Chubby, Fat, Fattie, Lard, PotLuck, Tubby

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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.

Yeah, that quote made me snicker.  The whole article made me snicker.

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? 

 

Sadly yes, additional studies do show that many Christians are now super-sized due to additional potlucks and church gatherings. Medical researchers have identified specific denominations that contribute substantially to the obesity of its members, which they now call waistline denominations.
Studies showed that on average, waistline denominations packed 150% more calories in communion than  thinline denominations. In fact it was discovered that the addition of food in the potlucks and church gatherings pointed to a conscious strategy by waistline advocates, who specifically want church members to grow. Grow physically larger.
"Adding membership size is our number one goal," said one waistline pastor. "Our church has only 300 members, and yet we now have the membership size of a 1,000 member megachurch. Our average BMI started very low some years ago, but now is at an all-time high. And through our potluck outreach, we now just kept growing on a weekly basis."
Many waistline members said they have tried thinline churches, but found them wanting.
"It just isn't fellowship if they give you a few reduced fat Wheat Thins and pate," said one such member. "We really like what the waistline churches serve up. Its all the food you can eat, plus thirds, and even more after that. I remember we cheered for one lady who went up 5 dress sizes in only two weeks."
Thinline critics say people are distracted by the donuts in Sunday School. Also they say people often confuse waistline churches with being some kind of food club.
"Absolutely not," said one waistline pastor, "We explain our strategy in every Sunday School during donut frenzy. Although I do admit that people may not be listening when they are trying to grab crullers and lemon-filled."
One waistline member said, "Yeah, I didn't listen at all during donut frenzy. And for 6 months I thought the church was some kind of religious food club, until someone explained it to me during a Wednesday potluck. Man, I though the offering on Sunday was for membership fees. My contribution worked out to be 3.99 per potluck. I saw it as a heck of a deal, too."
He said he still goes to his waistline church despite the misunderstanding, and isn't bothered by thinline critics. He just threatens to sit on them if they go too far in arguing.
One might think members of waistline denominations are at a severe disadvantage with their size. However, they are happy and laugh a lot. They do extremely well in intra-church tug of war competitions. Many have become successful amateur sumo wrestlers. And they also have a substantially higher chance of appearing on "The Biggest Loser" than a thinline member.
It is unknown whether waistline advocates will succeed in their efforts to super-size their members. As one waistline pastor summed it up, "We have a huge task in front of us...we are fighting against the health culture that is so prevalent out there - the exercise clubs, the weight watchers - not to mention medical doctors - who want to reduce everyone out of their obesity...But who wants to be thin and unhappy? I say let's be fat and happy!"

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.

All the more reason for a livelier service.  Maybe we really should take it to the streets.  It might do our chubby selves some good.

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