Jewish Journal

Church makes you fat?

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 27, 2011 | 7:50 pm

Um, I’m guessing there is a correlation problem with this new study, at least as MSNBC.com presents it. Here’s the skinny on being fat:

It might be the potlucks, it might be those long hours sitting in pews, but whatever the
cause, a new study presented this week shows a link between religious activity and weight gain.

The study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, found that young adults who frequently attended religious activities were far more likely to become obese
than those who didn’t.

“Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“And that is true even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index,” he added.

But what about when accounting for the baseline body fat? I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that churchgoers are less likely to worry about appearance and therefore tend to take less care of their bodies. Then again, I go to Bel Air Presbyterian, where a lot of people care about looking good.

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