Dan Gilgoff CNN television's Belief Blog Co-Editor has documented that faith does in fact improve health in his discussion of this national survey.
"Christopher Hitchens' atheist manifesto was subtitled 'how religion poisons everything,' but a new polling analysis challenges that notion, finding that very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being than the rest of the country.
The most religious Americans show the highest levels of well-being as measured by factors ranging from physical and emotional health to self-evaluations of life to perceptions of work environment, according to a Gallup report released Thursday.
Americans for whom religion is an important part of everyday life and who attend religious services roughly once a week or more score an average 68.7 on Gallup's well-being index.
Americans who are moderately religious or who are nonreligious, meanwhile, average 64.2 on the index.
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport says that the gap is significant because there are typically few differences in the well-being index between Americans from different demographics.
"It's not like some people score zero and others score 100," Newport told CNN. "So when we find a difference of four of five points it's not only statistically significant, it's also substantively significant."
"We now have the solution to the health care crisis," Newport joked. "If we're interested in lowering health care costs in America, we need to increase the prevalence of religion."
The Gallup analysis draws on more than 550,000 interviews. Newport said that the polling firm asks 1,000 Americans a night about indicators of well being and about levels of religiosity.
The analysis controlled for other factors that typically influence levels of religiosity, including age, gender, race and ethnicity, region, state, socioeconomic status, marital status and child-bearing status.
I agree we'd all probably be better off health-wise if we followed God's guidelines and had more Faith.
But it's not a physical get-out-of-sickness card. The Bible says there will always be poor people, and I think there will always be sick people. It's the soul and spirit that God is most concerned with!
But there are also Biblical principles that help to prevent at least some ailments. Like refraining from eating the wrong things and smoking, etc...Right now I'm doing a poor job of watching my health.
And fasting can help if it's done properly and with Faith.
Once, the Church I was in did a two-week fast.
We drank and ate only vegetables and water, combinations in raw form or cooked either one.
I admit I strayed just a bit by adding some butter and some salt at times. But all in all, I felt better at the end of the fast!
AND--get this----(although some people will say I'm crazy....oh what the hay, they already do anyway! LOL)--------
I heard from God during that fast! I got a confirmation about the state of two people's souls I'd been praying about.
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