Obesity in the Pews
Fellowship and Food
One afternoon while enjoying festivities at a church function, my eyes quickly scanned those in attendance. The event was filled with overweight worshippers. They came in all shapes and sizes, short and tall, and ethnicities and cultures.
In a quick summation, it seemed as though more than half the attendees were 20 lbs. and more overweight! I watched as the fried chicken, macoroni and cheese, fat back ridden collard greens, and butter-laden yams were plopped on the plates of what looked to be endless line of eager parishoners.
A 2006 - 2008 study reached the conclusion that Blacks have a 51% and Hispanics had a 21%liklihood of obsesity in comparison to Caucasians. However, the chances of Caucasians vying for the same percentage as Blacks were higher in the South and Midwest and Northeast. While on the other hand Hispanics ranked high in the Midwest, South, and West.
Between the years of 2007 - 2008
- 20 year olds and over who were obese: 34%
- 12 - 19 year olds who were obsese: 18%
- 6 - 11 year olds who were obsese: 20%
- 2 - 5 year olds who were obsese were: 10 %
Clearly, we have a weight issue!
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a "heavy" accumulation of body fat to the degree of causing rapidly increasing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease! This rapid accumulation of fat will decrease your life expectancy and quality of life!
Because of the dangerous amounts of fat that we can carry around, scientists have developed a way to measure the fat that we carry. It is called "BMI" body mass index. It compares your weight against your height.
- You are in the normal range if your BMI is between 18.5 and 25 (kg/m2).
- You are overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 30.
- You are obese if your BMI is 30 or higher.
- You are morbidly obese if your BMI is 40 or higher.
Children and Obesity
Around one in three children between the ages of 2 and 15 are overweight. While in total more girls than boys are overweight, a greater number of boys are obese.
Children and BMI
Doctors use special charts to work out BMI for children to take account of differing rates of growth and development.
- 14 per cent of boys are overweight.
- 17 per cent of girls are overweight.
- 19 per cent of boys are obese.
- 18 per cent of girls are obese.
The Effects of Obesity on Our Bodies
Common physical problems include:
- difficulties breathing
- difficulties walking or running
- increased sweating
- pain in the knees and back
- skin conditions such as acne
Other Medical conditions that will plague overweight persons:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Hardening of the Arteries leading to strokes and heart attack
- Type 2 Diabetes; and
- Some Types of Cancers
These conditions are obesity-related and often the cause of mortality of persons before the age of 75.
Why Do We Over Eat?
There are many reasons to overeat.
- Emotional Imbalances
- Love of Food
- Avoidance (not wanting to deal with issues at hand)
- Physical and Mental Abuse
The list goes on and on...
Even, we as Christians have to face life with all of its ups and downs, turmoil and drama. These things often causes us to run to the refrigerator for relief. We have to make an "strong" effort to forego reaching for food to soothe ourselves just as the addict reaches for his/her drug of choice to console themselves!
Obesity in the Pews
It is up to us to take responsibility for our diets and promote more healthy eating habits. As the church we address the spiritual needs of our parishoners while not taking into account our responsibility to take care of the temple that the Creator has blessed us with.
Knowing and understanding that losing control of our eating does not glorify Him to the best of our capabilities. We must look differently even at our functions and events. Offering also an healthy alternative to that which we have become so accumstomed to eating!
We as ministers and leaders should incorporate eating properly in our teachings. Encouraging long, healthy lives.
Losing weight is, of course, an personal issue and everyone should make the necessary choices to accommodate their life.
Share your thoughts and comments with me. Whether you're overweight or dieting, or was overweight and loss the weight. Diet suggestions and thoughts are welcome!
Finally, for those of you would need or desire company to lose weight, join me at SparkPeople.com. We are a group of women from several churches who needed to be poked and pried into changing our eating habits. Join us at http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=51352
Living to be the best YOU that YOU can be!
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