Not Saussure

September 26, 2006

Not by bread alone?

Filed under: Food, Religion — notsaussure @ 1:57 am

Not sure what to make of this; I assume the research refers specifically to the USA, but apparently your religious practices (or lack of them) in some way affect your size there. The Times reports

Even allowing for their Southern roots, Baptists were the largest all-round congregation, with 30 per cent being obese. Next, with an obesity rate of 22 per cent, was Fundamentalist Protestant (including Church of Christ and Pentecostal). Third, at 19 per cent, was Pietistic Protestant, which embraces the Methodists, among others.Some 17 per cent of Roman Catholics are obese. Among non-believers, the rate was 7 per cent. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons came in at 3 per cent, and Jews at 1 per cent. Taken together, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists had an obesity rate of 0.7 per cent.

Professor Ferraro suggests that Baptists may fare badly because alcohol and cigarettes are frowned upon, leaving food the only legitimate vice. He also notes that the lowest obesity indices were found among religions, such as Buddhism and Judaism, featuring strict dietary codes.

In addition, the study noted that Baptists and those immersed in fundamentalist religions tended to be less well educated than other followers; lack of education is known to be a risk factor for obesity.

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