I recently posted an entry dealing with the obesity rate among Americans. The post specifically dealt with a recent study that claims that 1-in-5 four year old children is physically obese.
Well, another study claims that the U.S. obesity problem is mostly the result of over-eating, not a lack of physical activity. I am not greatly surprised by this finding, but it does cause me to stop and ask the same question I asked before: As Christians, why are we so quick to point out all of the other sins of our culture while ignoring this one? Gluttony is called a sin in the Bible. It is a major problem in the U.S. Do we ignore the problem because so many of us have it ourselves?
What if we took the Bible’s command to care for our bodies seriously (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)? Would it change our diets and how we exercise?
I just ordered nachos last night at a place called McAllister’s. I ate 1/3 of them and was full, but I felt compelled to keep eating. Why?
As children, we are ordered to clean our plate. It’s important to teach children to eat correctly and you have to cram down as much good stuff as you can or they’ll go right for some treats.
I think we carry those notions with us as we mature. We clean our plate, even when it’s not fixed by us. Some guy thought it’d be great to make a nacho platter for 3 people and then sell it to one because then he could charge triple the price. It’s like getting 3 sales instead of one each time someone wants some nachos. Bonus profit!
And we, as idiots, think that more is better, so we buy it.
I think a lot of obesity has less to do with wanton sin and more to do with people being slowly eased into obesity through suggestion by greedy people in the food industry.
I don’t know any obese people who chose to be obese through their actions who did not have an eating disorder. They order things like everyone else, they just finish their plate like they’re told.
NOTE: I don’t know if I fully agree with myself yet, but it’s at least a valid point.
I agree that our propensity to over-eat is a product of our culture, but I do not think that lets us off the hook. Our culture teaches us that premarital sex is okay as well, but that does not make it less wrong when we choose to do it. We all have things in our lives that influence us for good or bad, but we still have to choose to do what is right. So, I think we as Christians should be more committed to teaching our children (and ourselves) that this particular part of our culture is sinful and we need to live differently.
I was talking to Laura about this tonight and she said the same things that I said without prompting. So that makes me feel validated. 😀
Of course the blame ultimately lies with us, but there is no getting around the fact that parents say “Finish your plate” and restaurants are serving triple portions. We start off in a culture of gluttony and it’s tough to pull ourselves out of it. Especially if you’re raised baptist. (this was a good blog read: http://www.claudemariottini.com/blog/2006/09/obesity-religion-and-baptists.html )
Thanks for that link. That was an interesting read! As a Baptist, I have to agree with him.
You have hit a key area where organized conservative religion shows its bigotry. The very same preachers that condem gays, “sinners”, and other religions, allow their congregation’s to be fat. They prioritize sin. The reson is if the Baptist start to condem the people in their church, then they will lose 30% of them.
They will never make this a major “fire and brimstone” issue since it impacts 30% of the people in their congregation. It is simple self preservation. So, as always, it is eaisier to attack people unlike you since it does not affect you in anyway.
I would love to see a church callout the fat folks each week. Show that you are a true man of God and stick to your guns. But it will never happpen. Self preservation always comes first, even before God. Sad, very very sad.
While this is true in the U.S., I doubt that it is true of Christians everywhere. I believe it is more of a cultural issue than anything. The Church in the U.S. needs to understand that this is a part of our U.S. culture, that is wrong and sinful, and work to change our actions.