Hot Trend in the House: Fasting Lawmakers

Steve King, Barbara Lee go without for different reasons
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2011 11:40 AM CDT
Hot Trend in the House: Fasting Lawmakers
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Hill picks up on a House trend that seems to span the political spectrum—fasting. On the left is Rep. Barbara Lee, who's organizing an effort in which about two dozen lawmakers will take turns going 24 hours with no food, only water, until Easter. The idea is to call attention to proposed budget cuts on the poor: “For me personally, fasting reminds me that while I’ll be off the fast in 24 hours, other people stay hungry all the time," she says. "I’ve already gone a day, but I’m going to do it again.” (Click to read about foodie Mark Bittman joining a similar fasting protest.)

On the right is conservative Steve King, whose motives are more about his own health. He's going without food every day until 6pm through Easter in order to drop weight, armed with a surprising grasp of the particulars. “I know that 3,550 calories is a pound, and it takes 2,851 to maintain my body weight at my exercise level, so I dial those calories down and I can lose a couple of pounds a week." As for inspiration: “There’s a constant gnaw in my stomach that reminds me of how Christ died for our sins.” (Read more Steve King stories.)

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