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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hold the pizza

Young adults who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese when they reach middle age than nonreligious peers, according to a study by Northwestern University's medical school.

The study tracked 2,433 people for 18 years.

CNN asked Erik Christensen, pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago, to comment on the study: "There's certainly a church culture around eating. What I see among congregants in their 20s and 30s is they are very fit, and what I see among congregants in their 50s and 60s is disproportionate obesity."

Christensen said the decision to attend church is sometimes made at the expense of being involved in athletic or recreational activities.


Comments

Robert Buntrock

Robert Buntrock

Posted at 4:23 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/30/2011

Rather dichotomous observations.  Especially in the Midwest, church functions often involve something to eat as part of socialbilty and community.  After all, the Minnesota-style "Little Lunch" is commong to many social functions, including in homes.  This may or may not be responsible for increases in the "middle-age spread", decreasing exercise may be more responsible.

However, it's not fair to blame church services for lack of exercise.  Granted, youth athletic activities, typified by the soccer traveling team shedules, are often on Sunday but those activites are hardly responsible for decreasing anount of exercise in the majority of the population that does not participate in those sports.  There's always Sunday afternoons and other weekend and evening times to exercise.



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