Saturday, September 09, 2006

Study: Being religious and being obese linked

From ADG, this morning.
"Christian couch potatoes
On the way to the church picnic, some Christians may not be sidestepping one of the seven deadly sins: gluttony.
A new study surmises that among Christians in the United States — particularly Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics — there is a significant relationship between being religious and being obese.
The study tracked about 2, 800 religious Americans of various denominations for eight years. Baptists, according to the study, were most likely to be obese, followed by Pentecostals, Catholics, Methodists and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Denominations that stress physical health, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventists, show low levels of obesity, according to the study. There is also a very low percentage of obese Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists in the United States, the study found. Because religion is often associated with positive health factors, such as lower blood pressure, stronger immune systems and less depression, the results of the study were somewhat surprising, said Purdue University sociology professor Kenneth E. Ferraro, a leader of the research. The study found a significant correlation between obesity and people who use religious media, such as television, radio and magazines. These “couch potato saints,” as the study calls them, tend to be less active and often watch “lots of obese religious leaders on TV,” according to Ferraro.

No wonder fundamentalist Gov. Huckabee has been so proactive in trying to save the state's citizens, particularly school children from a lifetime of obesity and the ailments of the obese. Huckabee overcame his own ordeal with obesity and diabetes and has taken the lead in emphasizing proper nutrition and exercise. The sedentary lifestyle is on display on television, particularly channel 21(KF45EI), a Christian-oriented programming channel that has a show with an obese fellow who cracks corny jokes and emphasizes cornier doctrine and parades scores of really unhealthy, obese folks onstage and sips soda pop and sits on a chair on a prop country store porch. The host must be diabetic and likely is just waiting for that stroke or heart attack. Some of his guests are morbidly obese, like a fellow who appears to be playing a ukele, but I believe it's a guitar. He dwarfs the instrument with his rolls of fat. Thanks Governor Huckabee for that shining moment in your gubernatorial administration of Arkansas. That said, let's elect Mike Beebe to continue some of the same progressive leadership, but without the need to answer to Shiite Republicans(gotta love the ever quotable, Guv'nor Huck). AR Democrats are a lot more trustworthy with leadership of this state than the hatemongering national GOP spreading its yankee(no offense to ALL yankees--some are welcome) suburban hard-right populism to this state to destroy the public school system and to leach the public purse for narrow concerns that help maybe 1% of the people. The BMI/wellness issue in the schools is the work of a man who really wants to be considered moderate and compassionate as the state's top elected consititutional officer.


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