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CFI Portland Meetup Group Message Board For Fun › Does theism make people fat?

Does theism make people fat?

A former member
Post #: 12
This is, by my lights, very poor "science" (after all, maybe churchgoers are also 24% more likely to drive blue cars; and I certainly see plenty of pastafarians who like their calories in high numbers), but the headline made me laugh.

Does God Make You Fat?

(CBS) 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.

One thing the researchers could not account for was which God people were praying to. Feinstein says participants were mostly Protestant, but they didn't have enough information on other faiths to really gauge if any fared better than the others.

The news isn't all bad for the heavenly-minded.

"There have been a number of studies over the years that show more religious people tend to live longer, are less likely to smoke and have better mental health," Feinstein told CBS News. "Religious people are doing a lot right, but this is one special area where there is room for improvement."

In fact, another group at Northwestern is already experimenting with a faith-based weight loss program in a Chicago church. And there's reason to believe that those that pray together can also lose weight together.

So while God may work in mysterious ways, it's now clear that cookies and cake are pretty darn predictable.

Vancouver, WA
Post #: 17
Must be the second helping of that deep-fried holy spirit.
Bernie D.
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 585
I've noticed that it is said, by his followers, that Jesus had a lot to say about how one should live their life. But he never once mentioned eating right or dieting or exercising. Since 'the end is near' I guess it was seen as no need for maintaining health for the long term.
A former member
Post #: 13
Maybe not Jesus (though he liked Isaiah and I guess Isaiah was a vegetarian) but there are dozens and dozens and DOZENS of biblical references to food (and yes, there's a popular Jesus Diet book)....remember, you can find ANYthing in the New and Old Testaments if you look hard enough and have loose enough guidelines, LOL; you can find even nanotechnology and in-vitro fertilization!

just a very FEW of the citations I saw.... (this medium needs a character limit, I'm outta control!)

Corinthians l: 8,12-13 (Paul) If meat makes my brother stumble I shall
never again eat meat.

Daniel l: Daniel was put in prison by Nebuchadnezzar. He ate only
pulses (beans) for 10 days while others ate flesh. Nebuchadnezzar noticed
that he fared better than the others. Maynard Clark ( and Frank
Hoffman ( make the point
that since all food, not just meat, was sacrificed by Babylonians
to idols, idols were not a factor in their abstention from animal flesh.
Deuteronomy 5: Thou Shalt Not Kill (later versions than the King James
translate this as Thou Shalt Not Murder)

Ezekiel 3 and 4: My body has never been defiled by animal flesh.

Genesis 1:29: Behold I have given you herb yielding seed. To you it shall
be for meat.

Genesis 1: 12 describes the perfection of a world covered with fruit
and nut trees, grape vines and berry bushes

Genesis 6: Noah was commanded by God to provide vegetarian food in the
ark for people and animals. (The lions drank the milk of cows.)

Genesis 9: 4-5 Flesh shall yet not eat. And surely your blood I will
require at the hands of beasts. (God forgive us all and help us
all to change.)

Hosea 2:28: I will make for you that day a covenant with the wild
animals. I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land. I
will make you lie down in safety.

Isaiah: Isaiah is the prophet who more than any other forecasts the birth
of Jesus. He is also the prophet with the most references to nonviolence
and universal respect for life. Jesus quotes Isaiah's "I delight not
in your blood sacrifices" as He drives the animal killers out of the
temple. Jesus refers to the vegetarian Isaiah more than to any other.

Isaiah: 1: 11: I delight not in the blood of bullocks or of lambs
or of he goats (whereas Isaiah 66 involves not eating pigs..
and Isaiah 65 involves not eating any living thing)
(In some Bible translations the word 'blood' has been removed.)
(In others it is "I delight not in thy blood sacrifices.")

Isaiah 66: 3 He who slays an ox is as he that slays a man.
(Another translation: He who kills a bull is as he who kills a man.)

Samson's Nazarite vow included eating nothing dead, letting his hair
grow and other injunctions. He violated this vow not only with Delilah
but in eating honey from a hive within the ribs of a desert lion
carcass. He then lost his strength.

Jesus: Whatsoever you have done to these the least of My brethren you
have done unto Me. (Is the least of His brethren.. the birds, the
insects, and the plants?)

The Aramaic Bible (the language Jesus spoke): Zachariah is told
even before the birth of John the Baptist that John is the Spirit
of Elijah and that he will forsake flesh foods. (
Jesus: Come, I shall make you fishers of humankind (and not of

(of patience, humility, forgiveness, universal nurturing)

Joel 1: The land mourns the destruction of her plants.
John the Baptist: The Ebionites taught that John the Baptist was
vegetarian. For further information write Pastor Mike Shaw

John: 6: 63 It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing.

Leviticus 3: 17 commands to eat no animal fat or animal blood
Many Jewish vegetarians believe it is impossible to drain the blood
out of all the tiny capillaries of the animal, and that therefore
there is no such thing as kosher flesh. .

Leviticus 11: prohibts the eating of the flesh of rabbits, pigs, shellfish
such as lobsters, clams, shrimp, crabs, hawks, seagulls, camels,
chameleons, flying insects with 4 legs in certain cases, heron, bat,
hoopoe, vulture, stork, cormorant, ibis, marsh hen, pelican, owl, mole,
rat, mouse, lizard, gecko, snail, cud chewers, cloven hoofed (the cow
was observed trying to cleave her hoof to make her safe), eagle, metire,
osprey, falcon, ostrich, kite, raven, rock badger, etc. The reasons include
prevention of food poisoning. E.g., pigs and shellfish will eat the waste
of other creatures (coprophagy).

Bernie D.
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 586
"Jesus: Whatsoever you have done to these the least of My brethren you
have done unto Me. (Is the least of His brethren.. the birds, the
insects, and the plants?)"

No- the animals and plants are not our brothers, according to Jesus. The 'least' are the people hurting or not seeming to have value (the fat, ugly, stupid, lonely, dumb, poor, etc.). In contrast, there are the lovely people, for example the rich and famous celebrities... the kind of people that when you shake their hand, you say "I'm never going to wash that hand again!"

People who work out, watch what they eat, etc. tend to like their bodies. Maybe Jesus taught the opposite... burn yourself out by living for, and working for, God:
Mark 8
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

I don't think we have a supernatural soul that we have to worry about losing.
A former member
Post #: 14
Just to clarify, the parenthetical comments were NOT mine; all I did was paste PART of a copious treatise on the subject....

I didn't know Jesus used poor grammar ("themselves" instead of him/herself" and "their" instead of "his/her" -- OK, not "poor" grammar, but not prescriptive....I would have edited to "What good is it to gain the whole world yet forfeit one's soul?"

I need to return to some semblance of my actual life here.
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