Win for Atheism: Study Finds Adults Who Attend Church Once a Week More Likely to Get Fat

Chalk up a point for atheism – the LA Times has reported that “young adults who regularly attend religious activities may be more prone to obesity by middle age than their nonreligious peers.”

Researchers followed some 2,400 people for 18 years, categorizing each participant’s religious participation as “high (once a week or more), medium (regularly but not weekly), low (rarely) and none.” After controlling for variables such as sex, age, race, income, education, and body mass index, they found that those categorized as having “high” religious participation were 50% more likely to be obese by the time they entered middle age than subjects whose religious participation was “none.”

“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,” said lead author Matthew Feinstein of Northwestern Medicine, in a news release. “We don’t know why frequent religious participation is associated with development of obesity, but the upshot is these findings highlight a group that could benefit from targeted efforts at obesity prevention.”

Well well well. We might not know why religious participation is associated with getting fat, but may I be the first to suggest to the pious toning up your religious selves by pole dancing for Jesus? TC mark

Source: Gawker via LA Times


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  • Evan Hatch

    seems far more likely that the correlation is due to the fact that the concentration of christians overlaps so nicely with the concentration of 'fatties'

    • JohnsReates

      attaching files to comments….social web 2.0

    • s.

      This exactly. There are more religious people in the southern states, which have a fatty traditional diet, and more in smaller towns, where you don't have access to yoga and organic food like in the cities. I highly doubt that being an atheist keeps you thin any better than owning a passport (I read something about this recently).


    As a devout Scientologist, I find comfort in this.

  • azi

    I don't know anything about Christians or Muslims, but religious Jews spend a lot of their free time sitting in study halls, so while this study didn't include them that would explain why they (if they are) overweight in large numbers.

  •!/willandbears Masha Sun

    where did you get that picture of JC crying…i want it for my desktop

  • Ryan Culliver

    “Lurking Variable”. It's a pretty important vocabulary word when making correlations.

  • george brostanza

    This makes me very happy. i hate religious people, even if that's all they fucking have in life.

  • Leela Jain

    The fundamentals of Eastern religions are really not as ridiculous and far-fetched as those of Abrahamic religions. Buddhism and Hinduism actually offer a wealth of wisdom that can provide guidance in leading a meaningful life. As a Hindu, I don't understand why so many Christians are converting to Atheism. I mean all that talk about sin and going to hell and the fundamentalists is pretty out there, but I'm sure Christianity does offer hope and guidance in times of utter despair.

    • asdfghjkl;

      It's not like Christians are choosing to be Athiests. I mean, I don't choose what I believe to be the truth. I agree with you there is a lot to learn about life from understanding such religious principles but at the end of the day the truth is more profound and full of knowledge then any amount of cultish mysticism

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