March 25, 2011

Attending church can make you fat

by Jan Harris

If you go to church once a week or more as a young adult you are 50 per cent more likely to be obese when you reach middle age, according to a US study.

The study, carried out by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, involved monitoring 2,433 participants for 18 years in Chicago, Minneapolis, Birmingham, Alabama, and Oakland, California.

The participants were aged between 20 and 32 at the start of the study.

The research doesn’t suggest a reason for the link between church attendance and obesity, but highlights a group where obesity prevention efforts could be targeted.

However Matthew Feinstein who led the study said: “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.”

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