Monday, June 4, 2012

Obesity in The Church

This article explores a topic that is very dear to me. It’s something that I have taught about extensively over the last decade as I have traveled the country speaking in churches and at faith-based events. Simply put, the health of The Church in America is a travesty. The Church is called to be a city on a hill, but in my estimation, it more closely resembles a bump on a log when it comes to health.

Here are some shocking statistics from the article:

  1. “Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%.”
  2. “Young adults who attend church or a bible study once a week are 50% more likely to be obese” than the general population.
  3. “People who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers.”
  4. A 2001 study showed that “76% of clergy members were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population.”
Could it be that while other vices and addictions are scorned by The Church, overeating (gluttony) and lack of exercise (sloth) have become “acceptable sins.” As I wrote in my book The Maker’s Diet, it’s time for pastors and church leaders around the country to take responsibility for reclaiming their own health, the health of their families and their congregations. Maybe it’s even time to discontinue the crowd-pleasing, well-funded, Sunday morning donut ministry. Gasp!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.