A new study has found that young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age compared with those who don’t take part in any religious events.
I don’t doubt this, but suspect the picture is a lot more complex. Church-goers are more likely to be married, which implies regular meals; more likely to have children, which leads to “mommy clean the plate” syndrome; more likely to bake. But there’s a piece of religious culture that’s been missing in America, even among Catholics: fasting. Yes, I’m as guilty as the next guy, if not more so. Avoiding meat on Friday by going to the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet is not penitential. But it seems to me that encouraging fasting would be a more spiritually profitable way to deal with the problem than to worry about the calorie count in the hotdish.