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Obesity in the Pews

Updated on July 14, 2013

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 Healthy Mouthful...A group of Women getting control of what has been controlling them!  An Addiction to Food!
A Healthy Mouthful...A group of Women getting control of what has been controlling them! An Addiction to Food! | Source

Statistics Say...

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.

Overwieght Teenagers Enjoying Ice Cream
Overwieght Teenagers Enjoying Ice Cream

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
  • gallstones

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.

  • Stress
  • Emotional Imbalances
  • Love of Food
  • Celebrations
  • Fellowship
  • Avoidance (not wanting to deal with issues at hand)
  • Physical and Mental Abuse
  • Escapism
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness

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 We are a group of women from several churches who needed to be poked and pried into changing our eating habits. Join us at

Living to be the best YOU that YOU can be!

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      What a great topic! So many celebrations, religious, school, and otherwise are centered on high-calorie meals. They don't need to be in order to be celebratory.

    • Lady Summerset profile imageAUTHOR

      Lady Summerset 

      7 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

      Dear DeBorrah, Everytime time I see your picture it brings such joy to my heart. Thank you again for stopping by and not only reading but commenting. What you say means a lot to me. Thank you for gracing my page.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      Lady Summerset, Interesting and thought provoking hub! I think that it is important that we become increasingly conscious of our eating habits. Especially when it impacts our physical health! As you well stated: "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..." Amen & AMEN!! Instead of; "Living to eat we should eat to live"!

      Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • Lady Summerset profile imageAUTHOR

      Lady Summerset 

      7 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

      C-Bless, my friend is using the title as a subject for a book! I'm glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by!

    • C-Bless profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Wow! Great information, and a title that made me chuckle. I'm currently working on a similar hub and I think this article would make for a great link. Thank you for sharing...

    • Lady Summerset profile imageAUTHOR

      Lady Summerset 

      7 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

      Gracenotes, Thank you for your comment. That break would be a great opportunity to do a nice fruit salad or Kashi cereal for the children.

      That sugar-laden menu makes worshippers sluggish and sleepy after the initial charge of sugar causes the sugar levels in the blood to drop right around the time the "message" is going forth!

    • gracenotes profile image


      7 years ago from North Texas

      Amen, Lady Summerset. Voted up.

      My best wishes for your support group.

      I've seen some evidence at my church that they're supporting bad eating habits. Between the early worship service and Sunday School is at least 30 minutes (sometimes more). This leaves plenty of time for S. S. class members to engage in fellowship, stand around and EAT. I'm sorry, but adults do not need cookies, coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls at 10:45 AM.

    • Lady Summerset profile imageAUTHOR

      Lady Summerset 

      7 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

      Greetings RTalloni,

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, we must change our attitudes towards food and teach our children a better way both spiritually and physically.

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Brave title! Good for you for speaking up about this shameful issue. Hope to hear more about your sparkpeople group!


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