The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Holy smoke, blessed broccoli

Researchers aren't just studying and disagreeing about the health of people who eat red meat, drink wine or jog. Meet the new guinea pigs: regular churchgoers. St. Louis [Mo.] University researcher Deidre Griffith says people who worship regularly eat 26 percent more "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables than those who don't go to church as often.

Yet Dutch researcher Theo de Kok says they may also inhale more carcinogens from liturgical candle- and incense-burning. Air quality at two Dutch churches is 20 times as bad as standing next to a busy main road, de Kok reported in the European Respiratory Journal. Could the effects of one offset the other? No one's done the research, but better eat your broccoli.


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