Things that make you go hmm: Religious participation and obesity

An interesting conjunction of variables from the folks at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine: Religious participation is correlated with obesity.

Could it be the potato salad? Young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age then are young adults with no religious involvement, according to new Northwestern Medicine research. This is the first longitudinal study to examine the development of obesity in people with various degrees of religious involvement.

“We don’t know why frequent religious participation is associated with development of obesity, but the upshot is these findings highlight a group that could benefit from targeted efforts at obesity prevention,” said Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator… ”It’s possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity.”

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Now, notice that this doesn’t mean going to synagogue makes you fat. This isn’t causation. But again… hmmm.