Perform this little exercise. The next time you attend your weekly worship service, take a look at the congregation. Make a note of the number of people you see who are overweight or physically out of shape.
A recent study by the National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute found that weekly churchgoers are 62% more likely to become obese. Data also taken from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults stated that after following 2,500 healthy men and women for 18 years, 32% percent of the frequent worship attendees became obese as opposed to 22% of the non-attendees. These studies, while, statistically sound and factually true, sends messages to non-believers that Christianity leads to life of obesity. Pastors, leaders, Christians, what are you going to do about it?
The main reason for the link between religion and obesity is a breakdown in education and focus in the body of Christ. Pastors, when is the last time you’ve mentioned health and wellness as you stood before your congregation? Leaders, how many of you have health programs for your members or seeking to create those programs? Christians, when is the last time you have exercised in order to create a healthy temple for God to dwell? Are you focused on maintaining the health God has given you?
These are questions we should all ask ourselves as Christians and leaders. Leaders, God has given you a flock to watch over and teach. You have an obligation to give them wisdom and guidance in ALL areas of their lives. Of course, by far, the spiritual aspect is most important. However,to be whole, Christians must address the spiritual, physical, and emotional man. You are doing an excellent job in spiritually building up the flock, now it is time to build them up physically.
The body of Christ must begin to become healthier. The world is viewing us as “prone to obesity.” This is not God’s perfect will. We must portray the goodness and wonderfulness of God in order to draw men. I dare you to become healthier…to become someone that non-believers look upon and desire to be like (spiritually, physically, and emotionally). You should make a personal commitment to not to become a statistics supporting the claim that “churchgoers are prone to obesity.” Be determined to walk in God's perfect will for your life.
This article was not intended to suggest non-church goers are less obese and that was not stated in the article. The point of the article is to show that as Christians, we should be in the best health we can because we represent the kingdom of God. That was the message intended for readers to grasp.
You can create a scientific study, using percentages and make many implications. However, the truth is, is that many Christians are overweight. Is there truly a link between Christianity and obesity…probably not. However, you cannot deny that the obesity epidemic has crept into the house of God.