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Study Suggests Church Can Make You Fat

Results of a new study from Northwestern University show a correlation between religion and obesity in young men and women. As reported by NBC and MSNBC News, the study documented the activities of more than 2,000 young men and women of normal weight for 18 years. Matthew Feinstein, lead researcher said “Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood…even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index.” Feinstein did not say church potlucks were to blame, but he admitted that “anecdotally, we know that oftentimes at these religious gatherings people will eat traditional comfort foods which are often high in fat and calories and salt.” He added that, despite these results, previous studies have shown that the religious are less likely to smoke, tend to live longer, and have better overall mental health. The study results were presented at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association.