Young adults who go to a religious event such as worship or Bible study at least once a week are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age as young adults with no religious involvement, according to new Northwestern Medicine research based on tracking 3,433 men and women for 18 years.
Researchers, who present their study this week to an American Heart Association panel in Atlanta, say they don't know if it's the pepperoni, the potato salad or maybe the sedentary nature of prayer that hits believers in the belly.
Matthew Feinstein, the study's lead investigator, speculated: "It's possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity."
Well, better to be overweight (a very arbitrary term anyway I think) and happy - and saved! - than thin as a rake and miserable.
However, I have been paying more attention to my weight than normal, as with running a marathon it is helpful to slim down a bit. Less weight means less pressure on the joints, and probably a faster race. I thought the weight would just drop off me with training, but when I started in January I was 198lb, and ten weeks in I was still 198lb! It was then I realized my problem - always having seconds of Mrs Hosier's delicious cooking. Cut out the extra portions, and suddenly the pounds began to fall away.
In just over two weeks time the running will all be over, and the day after the race I go to the USA for a week to attend a conference. I expect I'll come back up to 198lb again...!