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?