“And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite” Proverbs 23:2

… So writes King Solomon (subjectively, some scholars argue that he did not in fact write it) in the book of Proverbs (23:2). I’m no biblical scholar, but this implies to me that if you overeat… slice your throat. However, it turns out that obesity may also have a connection with going to church and not just stuffing your face with cake.

Recently researchers at Northwestern University using the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, followed 2,433 people from the ages of 20-32 and were able to ascertain that there is indeed a correlation between some extra junk in the trunk and attending church events, churchgoers being more than twice as likely to become overweight. (By churchgoers, it is meant that the person or persons attended at least one church event a week, according to Time.) So more or less, Jesus is making you fat. (Other things that could be making you fat according to studies: Facebook, genes, video games, having fat friends, having the choice to eat in general, catching a cold, air conditioning, and cake. Beware.)

But is this bible thumper study all that surprising? While gluttony is repeatedly shunned in the bible, it seems most curious to me, that many major Holidays are inspired by religious tales, and they are then celebrated by over consumption of alcohol and gluttonous gorging of unnecessarily large meals. Church socials generally involve food or a pot luck dinner of sorts, and then there is the age old problem of while attending religious activities, you’re generally sitting on your ass for hours on end.

These studies of course pissed off the church, so what better way to regain their skinny image again then by asking the question What Would Jesus Eat? Dr. Don Colbert, physician and nutritionist as well as a member of the Christian faith recently has written a book on diet and prayer (I’ve been praying to lose ten pounds for years now… so I guess it was inevitable to combine the two), titled “The What Would Jesus Eat Cook Book” and in this book he gives recipes that contain what is believed to be some of Jesus’ favorite home cooked meals. (According to Colbert, Jesus consumed mainly wine, meat, fish, veggies and fruits, with a healthy amount of olive oil mixed in for flavor.) But it doesn’t stop there… such organizations as the Christian Vegetarian Association have been advocating the body as God’s temple and trying to get fellow Christians to take better care of that said temple by eating healthier. Individual churches have also been trying to incorporate better lifestyles with Jesus like the Pleasant Green United Methodist Church located near Durham, N.C who has created an eight week program called “Walking with Jesus” that is an attempt to walk 80 miles to represent the journey that Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem. If you sign up for this program (sign up here… you know you want to), you get a pedometer, a selection of bible passages to read, a log book to record the miles you walk, some prayers (someone else’s prayers apparently), and education on the journeys walked by Jesus, himself. (Click here for 10% off coupon for walking and praying… which is um, free, by the way.)

With about 60% of our adult population overweight or obese, the abundance of studies trying to figure out why can be overwhelming. But if we take a hint from the church and simply ask ourselves “What Would Jesus Do… About Fatties?” I think it’s blatantly clear.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless they were gay. Then he would send them to hell.

 

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