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Is there any correlation between religion and health?

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Replies

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Right -- Utah is a pretty religious state, and I'd expect their health stats are better than the rest of the US, on average. There are many things in common about the states that do worst in the US other than religiosity.
  • Cylphin60
    Cylphin60 Posts: 863 Member
    So my issue I see among the religious groups is the higher expectation of living a prosperous lifestyle that sets itself apart from everyone else. Case in point: "by His stripes we are healed" or " name it and claim it" , I'm the head but not the tail" ... and so forth...

    With all these powerful passages of supposedly living an abundant life, I see no difference from believers and non- believers, but I see the cultural aspects that all (non- and believers) follow.

    Growing up in church myself, I would see hundreds go to the alter call for prayer and most of the time it was for health related issues, only to see them go back and order a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. Did the prayers work? Well according to my observation, most of them died of heart disease and/or living with diabetes, wheel chair or cain, and lack of energy for the most part.

    I believe it's the game of follow the leader. The Pastor is suppose to be the shepherd, and the congregation is considered his flock. I believe that the pastor/leader is responsible for the well being of his congregation since most are not taught to think for themselves, but most are only taught to have faith and believe.

    For example: If you're sick, " just pray about it and trust God" whatever happens it's in His Will. If you're healed, they will thank God, but if you die, it's his will.

    I can only speak of my personal experience, and observing my family members to relate to this issue.

    I'd recommend googling concordances on the abundant life quotes. That verse is one of the most abused in the Christian faith. The "abundant life" Jesus mentions refers to grace, vitality, life's essence, joy, rest etc. Here's an example.

    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/10-10.htm

    We Christians are a difficult bunch. :) Many of us will cherry pick any verse we can to justify excesses, blame our fellow man or God as required, and do anything but own the simple belief in God and Jesus that we claim.

    You call it playing follow the leader. Well, our leader came into the world with nothing and left the world with nothing but His faith. :) I enjoy a lot of peace and blessings in the form of family and friends today, and wouldn't trade that for all the fried chicken in the world, and I love me some fried chicken lol.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    Kinda anecdotal but where I work the only religious people (there are two of us and I barely fit the category) are the ones who are in the best shape and regularly go to the gym. Everybody else in my office is an atheist (SF, it's all the rage, lol) and is fat and out of shape.

    You keep mentioning the South and the "Bible Belt"... you do know there is a specific food culture there and regardless of what religion you practice - if you even practice a religion, you tend to eat the food of the region. Well, that food is generally very calorie dense. I've lived there before and even though I was a transplant, I learned to eat and love their cuisine. ;)

    I guess I'm coming from an social perspective instead of an individual. I know plenty of religious people that are in super great shape. Ones I know personally. But the majority is what I'm studying.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    Ainadan wrote: »
    fbchick51 wrote: »
    erickirb wrote: »
    I have two thoughts, Maybe look at the correlation of wealth vs. health.

    There's a MUCH, MUCH stronger correlation to wealth versus health.

    Top 10 fattest states Top 10 poorest states

    1 Mississippi Mississippi
    2 Louisiana Arkansas
    3 Arkansas West Virginia
    4 Kentucky Alabama
    5 Tennessee Kentucky
    6 West Virginia New Mexico
    7 South Carolina Louisiana
    8 Alabama South Carolina
    9 Texas Tennessee
    10 Oklahoma North Carolina

    The top 8 fattest states also happen to be in the top 10 poorest states. While Oklahoma isn't in the top ten poorest, it comes in at number 12. Texas is the outlier, but one can argue it's largerly propped up by big oil and has two large cities to offset the mostly rural poor communities surrounding it.

    While one can still argue that these states also fall in the bible belt, the major outlier is Utah. Utah ranks #2 as the most religious state and Mormons are FAR more restrictive (and live by it) then most those bible thumpers I've met down here in the south. Yet they are considered the "skinniest" state out of all 50 states, plus D.C. They happen to rank 13th in wealth and, like Colorado, the local governments invest in healthy living incentives.
    Anyone who has ever been to a church pot luck supper, church picnic, church barbecue or prayer breakfast knows there is definitely a correlation between religion and eating. (from a southern baptist preacher's daughter) :-)

    Ehhh.. Potlucks are far from limited to just religious efforts. Potlucks are social functions in general and happen all over the 50 states. In fact.. when I lived in Hawaii, I attended far more non-religious potlucks full of unhealthy treats then I have religious and non-religious potlucks since living in Kentucky (And that number is extremely high). Yet Hawaii falls in the top 10 healthiest states.

    The economics argument takes the onus off of the overweight entirely. This is a false dichotomy, as it can he both. Just because the cheeseburger costs the same as the fruit or whatever, doesn't mean that the cost is entirely to blame. There is still a choice to be made.

    The economics argument doesn't take the onus off entirely, but it does do a great job of explaining the correlations we see and can actually help us understand how to make a difference. Because we know for a fact, blaming the individual hasn't helped AT ALL. I'd also argue that the issue is less about how cheap a Fastfood meal is versus healthier options. Most of the states that top the list are also extremely rural in nature. Fast food is just as rare and as far as the grocery store is and surprisingly, the produce is usually cheaper, as it's supplied by local producers rather then having to be shipped in from far away.

    Why does looking at the economics correlation help? First, it's not surprising to state that most of the fattest states also have some of the worst education systems in the nation. It's difficult to hold someone responsible, if they lack the education to make a good food choice. Add the fact that the whole "No child left behind" program doesn't test for health knowledge so most of these poor performing districts have abandoned health education almost completely. Rather then learning healthier habits, they simple continuing eating the same way they did when lifestyles in this area were far more active (More active family farms).



    These (most) are also considered the Bible Belt, which is also the most religious states (southern region) So the bible belt is not only the unhealthiest, but also is the poorest, lack of education, and has the highest crime rate.

    Globally: the best countries to live in such as New Zealand or Austrlia are considered the LEAST Religious but has the lowest crime rate, greater wealth and greater health.

    I am a Ph.D student who has taken (too) many economics classes. TBH, I don't trust the informativeness of most comparative state and country level data, as it is a naive view of statistical correlation at best. (Also, the southern states also have the most blacks, so that gives us racial issues, wealth, education, and religion all as correlates.) Using it in this way is just a deductive fallacy waiting to happen.

    Furthermore, you are taking two population-level measures, and trying to answer an individual-level question, which doesn't make much sense to me. If you wanted to study the effects of religion on health and obesity, you would need to match individual people on the other characteristics you think are correlated, such as wealth, education, race, ect, and find people who only differ on religion, and see if there is a statistical relationship.

    I know this doesn't answer the question, but I'm trying to show why this is just a hard question to address. We can't manipulate religion in the lab, so we use advanced statistical techniques to get at the data, but even those lack a lot of internal validity.

    I believe I'm trying to answer a social question w/o putting race into it, but somehow the topic drifted towards individualism. I'm not sure if the southern states make up the most blacks since it's roughly around 20% black population compared to whites as far as total ethnic groups. The census studies, show there is an increase but not nearly as compared. Most of the blacks are in the lower poverty cities compared to the entire state.

    nevertheless, I do believe there is a correlation between specific religions and health, but maybe not all. That, I do not have the answer but am seeking.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    Cylphin60 wrote: »
    So my issue I see among the religious groups is the higher expectation of living a prosperous lifestyle that sets itself apart from everyone else. Case in point: "by His stripes we are healed" or " name it and claim it" , I'm the head but not the tail" ... and so forth...

    With all these powerful passages of supposedly living an abundant life, I see no difference from believers and non- believers, but I see the cultural aspects that all (non- and believers) follow.

    Growing up in church myself, I would see hundreds go to the alter call for prayer and most of the time it was for health related issues, only to see them go back and order a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. Did the prayers work? Well according to my observation, most of them died of heart disease and/or living with diabetes, wheel chair or cain, and lack of energy for the most part.

    I believe it's the game of follow the leader. The Pastor is suppose to be the shepherd, and the congregation is considered his flock. I believe that the pastor/leader is responsible for the well being of his congregation since most are not taught to think for themselves, but most are only taught to have faith and believe.

    For example: If you're sick, " just pray about it and trust God" whatever happens it's in His Will. If you're healed, they will thank God, but if you die, it's his will.

    I can only speak of my personal experience, and observing my family members to relate to this issue.

    I'd recommend googling concordances on the abundant life quotes. That verse is one of the most abused in the Christian faith. The "abundant life" Jesus mentions refers to grace, vitality, life's essence, joy, rest etc. Here's an example.

    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/10-10.htm

    We Christians are a difficult bunch. :) Many of us will cherry pick any verse we can to justify excesses, blame our fellow man or God as required, and do anything but own the simple belief in God and Jesus that we claim.

    You call it playing follow the leader. Well, our leader came into the world with nothing and left the world with nothing but His faith. :) I enjoy a lot of peace and blessings in the form of family and friends today, and wouldn't trade that for all the fried chicken in the world, and I love me some fried chicken lol.

    Yes ya'll are difficult LOL... That's one fact I can agree with. So after reading the bible front and back using the greek and Hebrew dictionary and concordances, I realized, that 99% of the Christians I've encountered (estimated %) are not following anything of what they believe. It was easy for them to do a spiritual warfare, but when it comes to just simple natural stuff, they have no clue what to do. No self control with food and temptation, and they go to church just to get a fix (junkee) and then go back to their old ways.

    I grew up in a black church and saw all the diabetes, diseases, obesity, etc.. but it was always the devils fault. No one took responsibility for their action. They all went to the altar for healing and left out the same way.

    So maybe this will shed some light of why I posted this question, and now that I think about it, I could of rephrased my question into "Is anyone else experiencing this, or is this in the black culture"?
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Ainadan wrote: »
    fbchick51 wrote: »
    erickirb wrote: »
    I have two thoughts, Maybe look at the correlation of wealth vs. health.

    There's a MUCH, MUCH stronger correlation to wealth versus health.

    Top 10 fattest states Top 10 poorest states

    1 Mississippi Mississippi
    2 Louisiana Arkansas
    3 Arkansas West Virginia
    4 Kentucky Alabama
    5 Tennessee Kentucky
    6 West Virginia New Mexico
    7 South Carolina Louisiana
    8 Alabama South Carolina
    9 Texas Tennessee
    10 Oklahoma North Carolina

    The top 8 fattest states also happen to be in the top 10 poorest states. While Oklahoma isn't in the top ten poorest, it comes in at number 12. Texas is the outlier, but one can argue it's largerly propped up by big oil and has two large cities to offset the mostly rural poor communities surrounding it.

    While one can still argue that these states also fall in the bible belt, the major outlier is Utah. Utah ranks #2 as the most religious state and Mormons are FAR more restrictive (and live by it) then most those bible thumpers I've met down here in the south. Yet they are considered the "skinniest" state out of all 50 states, plus D.C. They happen to rank 13th in wealth and, like Colorado, the local governments invest in healthy living incentives.
    Anyone who has ever been to a church pot luck supper, church picnic, church barbecue or prayer breakfast knows there is definitely a correlation between religion and eating. (from a southern baptist preacher's daughter) :-)

    Ehhh.. Potlucks are far from limited to just religious efforts. Potlucks are social functions in general and happen all over the 50 states. In fact.. when I lived in Hawaii, I attended far more non-religious potlucks full of unhealthy treats then I have religious and non-religious potlucks since living in Kentucky (And that number is extremely high). Yet Hawaii falls in the top 10 healthiest states.

    The economics argument takes the onus off of the overweight entirely. This is a false dichotomy, as it can he both. Just because the cheeseburger costs the same as the fruit or whatever, doesn't mean that the cost is entirely to blame. There is still a choice to be made.

    The economics argument doesn't take the onus off entirely, but it does do a great job of explaining the correlations we see and can actually help us understand how to make a difference. Because we know for a fact, blaming the individual hasn't helped AT ALL. I'd also argue that the issue is less about how cheap a Fastfood meal is versus healthier options. Most of the states that top the list are also extremely rural in nature. Fast food is just as rare and as far as the grocery store is and surprisingly, the produce is usually cheaper, as it's supplied by local producers rather then having to be shipped in from far away.

    Why does looking at the economics correlation help? First, it's not surprising to state that most of the fattest states also have some of the worst education systems in the nation. It's difficult to hold someone responsible, if they lack the education to make a good food choice. Add the fact that the whole "No child left behind" program doesn't test for health knowledge so most of these poor performing districts have abandoned health education almost completely. Rather then learning healthier habits, they simple continuing eating the same way they did when lifestyles in this area were far more active (More active family farms).



    These (most) are also considered the Bible Belt, which is also the most religious states (southern region) So the bible belt is not only the unhealthiest, but also is the poorest, lack of education, and has the highest crime rate.

    Globally: the best countries to live in such as New Zealand or Austrlia are considered the LEAST Religious but has the lowest crime rate, greater wealth and greater health.

    I am a Ph.D student who has taken (too) many economics classes. TBH, I don't trust the informativeness of most comparative state and country level data, as it is a naive view of statistical correlation at best. (Also, the southern states also have the most blacks, so that gives us racial issues, wealth, education, and religion all as correlates.) Using it in this way is just a deductive fallacy waiting to happen.

    Furthermore, you are taking two population-level measures, and trying to answer an individual-level question, which doesn't make much sense to me. If you wanted to study the effects of religion on health and obesity, you would need to match individual people on the other characteristics you think are correlated, such as wealth, education, race, ect, and find people who only differ on religion, and see if there is a statistical relationship.

    I know this doesn't answer the question, but I'm trying to show why this is just a hard question to address. We can't manipulate religion in the lab, so we use advanced statistical techniques to get at the data, but even those lack a lot of internal validity.

    I believe I'm trying to answer a social question w/o putting race into it, but somehow the topic drifted towards individualism. I'm not sure if the southern states make up the most blacks since it's roughly around 20% black population compared to whites as far as total ethnic groups. The census studies, show there is an increase but not nearly as compared. Most of the blacks are in the lower poverty cities compared to the entire state.

    Here's a map showing African-American population by county:

    9smyy0lda2ij.gif

    So clearly much higher on average in the South.

    I happen to think the correlation here is largely income-related (those are also poorer states, as well as more rural states -- another factor -- and they have specific food traditions in part related to those things), but it is true that the obesity rate is higher in American-Americans than whites in the US and the states identified are higher percentage black.

    For the source, see: https://stateofobesity.org/disparities/

    Obesity rate, all adults (US): 34.9%
    African-Americans: 47.8%
    White: 32.6%

    So you can't pick out religion specifically. Again, as I think I said upthread, there are times in the past 100 years when the average person was both much more likely to be religious and much less likely to be overweight or obese. Does it make sense to conclude from that that being LESS religious causes obesity? Of course not. But the same is true here; there are other factors at work.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Ainadan wrote: »
    fbchick51 wrote: »
    erickirb wrote: »
    I have two thoughts, Maybe look at the correlation of wealth vs. health.

    There's a MUCH, MUCH stronger correlation to wealth versus health.

    Top 10 fattest states Top 10 poorest states

    1 Mississippi Mississippi
    2 Louisiana Arkansas
    3 Arkansas West Virginia
    4 Kentucky Alabama
    5 Tennessee Kentucky
    6 West Virginia New Mexico
    7 South Carolina Louisiana
    8 Alabama South Carolina
    9 Texas Tennessee
    10 Oklahoma North Carolina

    The top 8 fattest states also happen to be in the top 10 poorest states. While Oklahoma isn't in the top ten poorest, it comes in at number 12. Texas is the outlier, but one can argue it's largerly propped up by big oil and has two large cities to offset the mostly rural poor communities surrounding it.

    While one can still argue that these states also fall in the bible belt, the major outlier is Utah. Utah ranks #2 as the most religious state and Mormons are FAR more restrictive (and live by it) then most those bible thumpers I've met down here in the south. Yet they are considered the "skinniest" state out of all 50 states, plus D.C. They happen to rank 13th in wealth and, like Colorado, the local governments invest in healthy living incentives.
    Anyone who has ever been to a church pot luck supper, church picnic, church barbecue or prayer breakfast knows there is definitely a correlation between religion and eating. (from a southern baptist preacher's daughter) :-)

    Ehhh.. Potlucks are far from limited to just religious efforts. Potlucks are social functions in general and happen all over the 50 states. In fact.. when I lived in Hawaii, I attended far more non-religious potlucks full of unhealthy treats then I have religious and non-religious potlucks since living in Kentucky (And that number is extremely high). Yet Hawaii falls in the top 10 healthiest states.

    The economics argument takes the onus off of the overweight entirely. This is a false dichotomy, as it can he both. Just because the cheeseburger costs the same as the fruit or whatever, doesn't mean that the cost is entirely to blame. There is still a choice to be made.

    The economics argument doesn't take the onus off entirely, but it does do a great job of explaining the correlations we see and can actually help us understand how to make a difference. Because we know for a fact, blaming the individual hasn't helped AT ALL. I'd also argue that the issue is less about how cheap a Fastfood meal is versus healthier options. Most of the states that top the list are also extremely rural in nature. Fast food is just as rare and as far as the grocery store is and surprisingly, the produce is usually cheaper, as it's supplied by local producers rather then having to be shipped in from far away.

    Why does looking at the economics correlation help? First, it's not surprising to state that most of the fattest states also have some of the worst education systems in the nation. It's difficult to hold someone responsible, if they lack the education to make a good food choice. Add the fact that the whole "No child left behind" program doesn't test for health knowledge so most of these poor performing districts have abandoned health education almost completely. Rather then learning healthier habits, they simple continuing eating the same way they did when lifestyles in this area were far more active (More active family farms).



    These (most) are also considered the Bible Belt, which is also the most religious states (southern region) So the bible belt is not only the unhealthiest, but also is the poorest, lack of education, and has the highest crime rate.

    Globally: the best countries to live in such as New Zealand or Austrlia are considered the LEAST Religious but has the lowest crime rate, greater wealth and greater health.

    I am a Ph.D student who has taken (too) many economics classes. TBH, I don't trust the informativeness of most comparative state and country level data, as it is a naive view of statistical correlation at best. (Also, the southern states also have the most blacks, so that gives us racial issues, wealth, education, and religion all as correlates.) Using it in this way is just a deductive fallacy waiting to happen.

    Furthermore, you are taking two population-level measures, and trying to answer an individual-level question, which doesn't make much sense to me. If you wanted to study the effects of religion on health and obesity, you would need to match individual people on the other characteristics you think are correlated, such as wealth, education, race, ect, and find people who only differ on religion, and see if there is a statistical relationship.

    I know this doesn't answer the question, but I'm trying to show why this is just a hard question to address. We can't manipulate religion in the lab, so we use advanced statistical techniques to get at the data, but even those lack a lot of internal validity.

    I believe I'm trying to answer a social question w/o putting race into it, but somehow the topic drifted towards individualism. I'm not sure if the southern states make up the most blacks since it's roughly around 20% black population compared to whites as far as total ethnic groups. The census studies, show there is an increase but not nearly as compared. Most of the blacks are in the lower poverty cities compared to the entire state.

    Here's a map showing African-American population by county:

    9smyy0lda2ij.gif

    So clearly much higher on average in the South.

    I happen to think the correlation here is largely income-related (those are also poorer states, as well as more rural states -- another factor -- and they have specific food traditions in part related to those things), but it is true that the obesity rate is higher in American-Americans than whites in the US and the states identified are higher percentage black.

    For the source, see: https://stateofobesity.org/disparities/

    Obesity rate, all adults (US): 34.9%
    African-Americans: 47.8%
    White: 32.6%

    So you can't pick out religion specifically. Again, as I think I said upthread, there are times in the past 100 years when the average person was both much more likely to be religious and much less likely to be overweight or obese. Does it make sense to conclude from that that being LESS religious causes obesity? Of course not. But the same is true here; there are other factors at work.

    Awesome, The visual definitely helps. You're absolutely correct. Going down this rabbit hole has led to another opening. :)
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    Correlation - possibly, but tenuous at best. There are far too many variables at play to attempt to isolate something with such a broad meaning as religion.

    Income is continually brought up, but I suspect there is a deeper root cause linked to helplessness. Note on MFP those new to the process generally have a victim mentality - that their weight is defined by genetics/fate. To the contrary those who understand that weight is an output of behavior may have a similar view on other aspects in life.

    Same with religion - those believing in fate may tend to "leave it to God" whereas others may have the view "God gave me the strength to change". So this is highly dependent upon how the individual defines religion.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Different religions preach different practices. So I contend it depends on the religion.

    Teen pregnancy is an indicator for higher infant mortality. Counties with high teen pregnancy rates also often are poorer. Religions that are opposed to contraceptives and abortion might make this problem worse.

    teen-births-county-map-800px.png

    Seventh Day Adventists advocate a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables with limited meat consumption. They also live longer. Coincidence?

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-blue-zone-loma-linda-20150711-story.html
  • yskaldir
    yskaldir Posts: 202 Member
    edited October 2017
    jgnatca wrote: »

    Seventh Day Adventists advocate a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables with limited meat consumption. They also live longer. Coincidence?

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-blue-zone-loma-linda-20150711-story.html

    They also discourage smoking, drinking and drug use so it's not just diet.

  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Here are the results of a survey of religions and their concerns about nutrition.

    https://www.barna.com/research/americans-are-concerned-about-poor-eating-habits/
  • Cylphin60
    Cylphin60 Posts: 863 Member
    Cylphin60 wrote: »
    So my issue I see among the religious groups is the higher expectation of living a prosperous lifestyle that sets itself apart from everyone else. Case in point: "by His stripes we are healed" or " name it and claim it" , I'm the head but not the tail" ... and so forth...

    With all these powerful passages of supposedly living an abundant life, I see no difference from believers and non- believers, but I see the cultural aspects that all (non- and believers) follow.

    Growing up in church myself, I would see hundreds go to the alter call for prayer and most of the time it was for health related issues, only to see them go back and order a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. Did the prayers work? Well according to my observation, most of them died of heart disease and/or living with diabetes, wheel chair or cain, and lack of energy for the most part.

    I believe it's the game of follow the leader. The Pastor is suppose to be the shepherd, and the congregation is considered his flock. I believe that the pastor/leader is responsible for the well being of his congregation since most are not taught to think for themselves, but most are only taught to have faith and believe.

    For example: If you're sick, " just pray about it and trust God" whatever happens it's in His Will. If you're healed, they will thank God, but if you die, it's his will.

    I can only speak of my personal experience, and observing my family members to relate to this issue.

    I'd recommend googling concordances on the abundant life quotes. That verse is one of the most abused in the Christian faith. The "abundant life" Jesus mentions refers to grace, vitality, life's essence, joy, rest etc. Here's an example.

    http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/10-10.htm

    We Christians are a difficult bunch. :) Many of us will cherry pick any verse we can to justify excesses, blame our fellow man or God as required, and do anything but own the simple belief in God and Jesus that we claim.

    You call it playing follow the leader. Well, our leader came into the world with nothing and left the world with nothing but His faith. :) I enjoy a lot of peace and blessings in the form of family and friends today, and wouldn't trade that for all the fried chicken in the world, and I love me some fried chicken lol.

    Yes ya'll are difficult LOL... That's one fact I can agree with. So after reading the bible front and back using the greek and Hebrew dictionary and concordances, I realized, that 99% of the Christians I've encountered (estimated %) are not following anything of what they believe. It was easy for them to do a spiritual warfare, but when it comes to just simple natural stuff, they have no clue what to do. No self control with food and temptation, and they go to church just to get a fix (junkee) and then go back to their old ways.

    I grew up in a black church and saw all the diabetes, diseases, obesity, etc.. but it was always the devils fault. No one took responsibility for their action. They all went to the altar for healing and left out the same way.

    So maybe this will shed some light of why I posted this question, and now that I think about it, I could of rephrased my question into "Is anyone else experiencing this, or is this in the black culture"?
    It isn't just a black thing. I've visited I don't know how many churches over the course of 30 years or so and seen it in various forms with various foods/things etc.

    I think your simple statement above:
    "when it comes to just simple natural stuff, they have no clue what to do. No self control with food and temptation, and they go to church just to get a fix (junkee) and then go back to their old ways."

    pretty much nails it. I won't speak for anyone but myself, but as a Christian I simply try to not be a hypocrite. I don't claim what I'm not willing to do. If I stuff a piece of moms bunt-cake (so good lol) into my face, no one made me do it. When I spark that cigarette (yes, I still enjoy a puff here and there) I'm the only one who chooses to do that.

    Ownership is a powerful thing. It can yield lots of peace. :)
  • Rhumax67
    Rhumax67 Posts: 197 Member
    Why are the unhealthiest states, cities, countries are the most religious? Example: The bible belt (states) etc.. The healthiest countries are the least religious. What's the correlation between the two? Your thoughts. Simple dialogue!

    Off the top of my head I know of one Blue Zone group that's deeply religious and their way of eating is directly tied to their religious convictions, (the Seventh Day Adventist community in Loma Linda CA). As a group they experience exceptionally long life and good health, making them one of only 5 groups in the world who achieve this. It would be interesting to see if there was a similar religious adherance with the other 4 groups.

    They are mostly vegetarians
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    I’m pretty sure that I linked Barna earlier. They have done studies that show religious people live very much like their neighbours no matter what their professed beliefs. Same rates of teen pregnancy, divorce, etc.

    There are higher rates of obesity and teen pregnancy in the Bible Belt as well but I suspect poverty to be the root cause.

    Does the Bible demand healthy living? Samson and John the Baptist were on self imposed dietary restriction and there is the account of Jesus’s religious fast but I can’t think of any specific reference to dietary health other than Paul’s admonition to treat the body as a temple.

    Then there are the apparently contrary verses to beat the body in to submission.

    I like the Jewish principle (extra biblical) to treat all life as sacred. Good habits can come out of that.
  • garlic7girl
    garlic7girl Posts: 2,238 Member
    A lot goes into that question...social determinants of health for the location of that church and community it is in and attitude of pastor. I do believe God wants us to be healthy and help others to do the same but st the same time do not make fitness/health an obsession.
  • ursula130
    ursula130 Posts: 50 Member
    Why are the unhealthiest states, cities, countries are the most religious? Example: The bible belt (states) etc.. The healthiest countries are the least religious. What's the correlation between the two? Your thoughts. Simple dialogue!

    Correlation does not equal causation.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    edited June 2018
    In the United States specifically? Correlation?....probably. Causation?...probably not.

    I'd believe that religiousity correlates with poverty and low education and that poverty and low education tend to correlate with obesity and health issues. Because of that I'd think it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that relgion probably does correlate with obesity. That said I don't think any one of those things causes the other, they just tend to cluster.