Churchgoers More Likely to Be Obese

Researchers suspect all those church functions are to blame
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2011 11:25 AM CDT
Regular church-goers are more likely to be a little portly.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Achieving inner peace comes with a price, apparently. People who go to church regularly are more prone to pack on the pounds, reports Time. In one analysis, researchers at Northwestern University found that those who attended church or some kind of church function a minimum of once a week were twice as likely to be obese as those who had no religious involvement. The researchers' best guess isn't too complicated: The church provides a wide social network, and that in turn provides lots of opportunity to socialize—and eat.

But there's hope, says one Northwestern medical student: That same social network can help people lose weight. "By virtue of their pre-existing infrastructure and social support networks, religious groups and organizations are pretty well suited to enact health interventions for diet and exercise in a pretty efficient and effective manner."

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