America and the sin of Gluttony

Obesity Rates Climb Across U.S.
Kevin Freking, Associated Press

Aug. 27, 2007 — Loosen the belt buckle another notch: Obesity rates continued their climb in 31 states last year. No state showed a decline.
Mississippi became the first state to crack the 30 percent barrier for adult residents considered to be obese. West Virginia and Alabama are just slightly behind, according to the
Trust for America's Health, a research group that focuses on disease prevention.
Colorado continued its reign as the leanest state in the nation with an obesity rate projected at 17.6 percent.
This year's report, for the first time, looked at rates of overweight children ages 10 to 17. The District of Columbia had the highest percentage — 22.8 percent. Utah had the lowest percentage of overweight youth — 8.5 percent.
Health officials say the latest state rankings provide evidence that the nation has a public health crisis on its hands.
Unfortunately, we're treating it like a mere inconvenience instead of the emergency that it is," said Dr. James Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,a philanthropy devoted to improving health care.School is the only source of exercise for some kids.
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Officials at the Trust for America's Health advocate for the government to play a larger role in preventing obesity. People who are overweight are at an increased risk for diabetes, heart problems and other chronic diseases that contribute to greater health care costs.
"It's one of those issues where everyone believes this is an epidemic, but it's not getting the level of political and policymaker attention that it ought to," said Jeffrey Levi, the organization's executive director. "As every candidate for president talks about health care reform and controlling health care cost costs, if we don't hone in on this issue, none of their proposals are going to be affordable."
At the same time, many believe weight is a personal choice and responsibility. Levi doesn't dispute that notion, but he said society can help people make good choices.
"If we want kids to eat healthier food, we have to invest the money for school nutrition programs so that school lunches are healthier," he said. "If we want people to be more physically active, then there have to be safe places to be active. That's not just a class issues. We've designed suburban communities where there are no sidewalks for anybody to go out and take a walk."
To measure obesity rates, Trust for America's Health compares data from 2003-2005 with 2004-2006. It combines data from three years to improve the accuracy of projections. The data come from a survey of height and weight taken over the telephone. Because the information comes from a personal estimate, some believe it is conservative.
Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last year noting a national obesity rate of about 32 percent — a higher rate than was cited for any of the states in the Trust for America's Health report. The CDC's estimate came from weighing people rather than relying on telephone interviews, officials explained.
Generally, anyone with a body mass index greater than 30 is considered obese. The index is a ratio that takes into account height and weight. The overweight range is 25 to 29.9. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9. People with a large amount of lean muscle mass, such as athletes, can show a large body mass index without having an unhealthy level of fat.
A lack of exercise is a huge factor in obesity rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found last year that more than 22 percent of Americans did not engage in any physical activity in the past month. The percentage is greater than 30 percent in four states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Minnesotans led the way when it came to exercise. An estimated 15.4 percent of the state's residents did not engage an any physical exercise — the best rate in the nation. Still, the state ranked 28th overall when it came to the percentage of obese adults.
Another factor in obesity rates is poverty. The five poorest states were all in the top 10 when it came to obesity rates. An exception to that rule was the District of Columbia and New Mexico. Both had high poverty rates, but also one of the better obesity rates among adults.
Officials said the report is not designed to stigmatize states with high obesity rates but to stir them into action.
"These are the states where the urgency is the greatest. They need not to wait for others to lead. They need to become the leaders," Marks said. "It's the only way that they can restore the health of their children and their families. It's the only way that they can improve their economic competitiveness."

So, just a crazy thought but what if Church's adopted a rule that if you were an elder or staff member you couldn't eat a honey bun at the mall. Thous Cinnamon rolls are nothing but bad fat, bad carbs and sugar. Sure one isn't a sin but we obviously have a problem in America with FAT so as Christian's aren't we responsible for how things look, how we might lead someone astray by our actions, might confuse them by living in our freedom to eat a Cinnamon roll? So, since we now know there is a health crisis concerning food abuse and excess, shouldn't the church step up and address the issue of gluttony? many gluttony preachers and congregants for that. I mean eating a lot is part of who we are. If we really started teaching self control and balanced living, well that would mess with tradition and tradition is what the American church is all about.


Anonymous said…
lets see eating a doughnut or drinking wine hummmm????????? lets be an example all the way around huh
Joyce said…
Just so you know I didn't write that other comment......but I have a couple thoughts as well.

I heard the same report this morning on NPR when my radio alarm went off. I had to keep listening to the story.....VERY sad how Mississippi has become the "#1 most obese state"...but like the guy said...."we have to have a LIFESTYLE change which means not eating FRIED catfish 4-5 times a week" good point.
Also...not stated in that report but I know it to be true because I've seen it....POVERTY adds to poor nutrition because people buy cheap when they haven't much money...they try to get a WHOLE bunch of something for a little bit of money....and macaroni and cheese is cheap. So are hotdogs I suppose. People who haven't large incomes eat alot of stuff like that. I KNOW because I know people in that boat. But they could still clean up their diets a bit. I eat a special diet and it IS expensive but it's that or become very ill.
Yet if you cut out the junky snacks it will counter balance some of the expense.

Second point.....the church...this is a sore issue with me because GLUTTONY is the MOST "widely accepted SIN"....and why not. The church is busy handing out candy every five minutes to people...I mean how offensive to the diabetics is that?? I've never seen them passing out FRUIT or a salad.
Plus churches feed their people crummy food as part of "fellowship" have a DOUGHNUT on a Sunday morning or a bagel or coffee or a hot dog or hamburger or some CHOCOLATE (do I love chocolate, well yes I do!) or some other candy ( they especially do that in Childrens churches and Sun. Schools) or smoothies or whatever else in the world they come up with. All under the banner of ...."we are blessing these folks"....and they are right into their graves. I hope they are ready to meet Jesus because we need to consider that.
Pastor's and their families eat crummy because they are always on the "run".....rarely home. Catching some fast food when they are on their way home.....or they are out to "eat" with parishners a lot too.'s THEIR choice how they eat I mean you can have fried chicken or the salad with grilled chicken. Or just maybe restrict your intake....which is hard for me okay, when I'm hungry I'm hungry. I understand that.

I know some people don't like healthy foods....but if it's life will DO whatever it takes. I do. Some people still don't though
However... "you can lead a horse to water" know the rest.
I'm not condeming anyone who eats different than myself or who is overweight or whatever...I'm just saying it's become a national problem and some of us know better. Which then does become sin.

It's like people who smoke while on oxygen???? I don't get that,or some other things either.
Anonymous said…
no one wants to touch these topics.
what about the 7 deadly sins? this all fits in with all that has been said on this comment site.

Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.

Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

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