Why obesity offends God

Have you noticed how in old television shows from the 1960s, ’70s, and even ’80s, everyone looks thin?
Americans are too fat. Despite that, we are getting fatter.
A new study warns that at the rate we’re going, in 18 years, by the year 2030, more than 4 of every 10 (42%) Americans may become obese and 11% could be severely obese.

Obesity is more than being over weight. These terms are defined by the body mass index (BMI), a measurement that is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat:

  • “Normal weight” means a BMI of 18.5–24.9
  • “Over weight” means a BMI of 25.0–29.9
  • “Obesity” means a BMI of 30.0–34.9
  • “Severe obesity” means a BMI of 35.0–39.9
  • “Morbid obesity” means a BMI of 40 or over

BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s mass (weight) by the square of his or her height, typically expressed either in metric or US “customary” units of lbs. and inches. This is the formula:

BMI = mass (lb) ÷ (height in inches)² x 703

There’s an easier way to calculate your BMI. Click here!
Nanci Hellmich reports for USA Today, May 7, 2012, that the obesity rate was relatively stable in the USA between 1960 and 1980, when about 15% of people fell into the category. It increased dramatically in the ’80s and ’90s and was up to 32% in 2000 and 36% in 2010, according to CDC data.

As of 2010, more than 1 of every 3 U.S. adults (about 36%) were obese, which is roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight, and 6% were severely obese, which is 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Those percentages qualify as an epidemic.
According to CDC data, in 2010, the South has the highest prevalence of obesity (29.4%) followed by the Midwest (28.7%), Northeast (24.9%) and the West (24.1%). Mississippi has the highest obesity rate of all 50 states, at 34%. Colorado has the lowest obesity rate, at 21%.
Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (44.1%) compared with Mexican Americans (39.3%), all Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%).
Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels
According to a new study led by Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with Duke University Global Health Institute, 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030, and 11% could be severely obese, adding billions of dollars to health care costs. That means 32 million more obese people within two decades, on top of the almost 78 million people who were already obese in 2010.
The analysis was presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Weight of the Nation” meeting. The study is being published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Extra weight takes a huge toll on health, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea and other debilitating and chronic illnesses. (Read more on obesity-associated morbidity here.)
The latest finding is that obesity also increases the risk of senile dementia! A new study published in the journal Neurology found that people who are obese in middle age are at almost four times greater risk of developing dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease in later life than people of normal weight.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that medical-related costs of obesity may be as high as $147 billion a year, or roughly 9% of medical expenditures. An obese person costs an average of $1,400 more in medical expenses a year than someone who is at a healthy weight, they found. Other researchers have estimated the costs may be even higher.
If the obesity rate stays at 2010 levels instead of rising to 42% as predicted, then the country could save more than $549.5 billion in weight-related medical expenditures between now and 2030, says study co-author Trogdon.
More than medical costs, obesity-related heath problems also mean a reduced life expectancy. Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years: a BMI of 30–35 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity (BMI > 40) reduces life expectancy by 10 years.

photo by Fiona Hanson/PA


But there is yet another reason for us NOT to be obese:

Obesity is an offense against God who made us in His own image.

The following is taken from an essay, “Food Is Sacred,” written by Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Modesto, California, May 8, 2012:

“Supersize it.” If one, six-dollar burger is good, two is better, and best of all when they are on sale, two for ten dollars! We love to eat. […] Food is essential for human life. But why, then, is food the number one killer in America? Heart disease, due almost entirely to overeating or eating the wrong kinds of foods, is our number one cause of death in America. Actually, food is a sacred gift, and so the abuse of this sacred gift is seriously harmful.

Jesus shows us how to properly order our appetite for food. Consider the Last Supper: Jesus took a little bread, and a little wine. Both are natural, wholesome foods. And this is what we do at Mass: a little bread, a little wine, which is really the very body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus.

How we worship is how we should eat, because food is sacred.

Our market-driven culture teaches us to consume. We are told that food, as much and as often as we can get it, makes us happy. As with all lies, there is a kernel of truth in this: food does make us happy, but in right proportion. Too much food, or the wrong kind of food, makes us bloated, heavy, depressed, and ultimately kills us with every disease from diabetes to cardiac failure.

To be genuinely happy, we must discipline ourselves, as Jesus did. He took only a little baked fish (not fried fish!). He chastised his body; he restrained his appetites.

God made each of us in His own image. We therefore should treat our bodies with respect, instead of abuse. There is a reason why Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins!
You don’t have to be a Christian or believe in God to recognize that truth.
In his An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), the great Scottish philosopher David Hume thought hard about ethics and morality. To this day, Hume’s definition remains among the best definitions of what “immoral” is.
For Hume, “immoral” is whatever that does harm or injury to oneself and/or to others.
Obesity, being harmful to our health and a burden in medical costs borne by not just us but the entire medical care system, fits that definition!
~Eowyn

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sparrow59
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sparrow59

I don’t think she’s gonna be doing much gold diggin with that!

dan
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dan

I don’t know if it’s gluttony or GMO’s and growth hormones in our
diets…but I’m hoping God is pleasantly plump ….
because even when I was buff (as a gymnast) the BMI made me
laugh…my six-pac became a keg a decade ago . I suspect it’s part
of an evil plot by the insurance/pharmacological industry to guilt us
all and make us miserable.

dan
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dan

now that got me laughing 🙂

A.Patchen
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A.Patchen

The person that wrote this is what Jesus describes as the person with the beam in his eye complaining about the person with the splinter in theirs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

battling the bulge
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battling the bulge

All people love the taste and smell of food. We need food to survive, so we eat. We all know that once it gets past our taste buds, it becomes fodder for the slop bucket. It’s that initial mouth-watering temptation, the pleasure of tasting and feeling heavenly delights in that little chamber of the mouth, that people can’t get enough of. In the present era of abundant pleasures, sensory over-stimulation, and instant gratification, it’s become an “extreme” sport, of sorts. When we should just be eating to live, many people now live to eat — in the extreme.

Christine A Hall
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I had a long post written up, a sort of journey through the mind of one of the so-poor-we-CAN’T-afford-food-but-we-don’t-use-food-stamps, not one of the we’re-so-busy-we-can’t-cook-it types, and some observations on GMO/hormone laden foods, but ppl like Pete Miller here would slam it to pieces. I couldn’t handle that, not when this post touches and digs open a deep well of misery and pain in me, that Peter here would exploit it and call me a liar and stupid. Not because I’m so obese, but because I AM way too overweight and some of my problems are medical and some are of… Read more »

hrmfc
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hrmfc

Dear Christine, Your essay contains so much pain. I am so sorry you are struggling with your husband’s health and difficult finances. Please explore some optons to ease your frustrations. Your physicians may be able to give you some drug samples to lessen the costs for you. There may be a food bank or a community farm where you can purchase or be given some healthier choices. Your church may also have a grant or an emergency fund which would make you feel less threatened if an emergency comes up. Housing costs and medical bills can certainly take a major… Read more »

sheress belton
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sheress belton

you can tell who is overweight and feel defensive by certain reactions, being obese is a state of mind too, too much of anything can kill you, but food should be prepared for health and enjoyment but if you indulge to much whatever illness you aquire from it is your own fault i have no mercy for anyone who allows anything outside of themselves to control whats going on on the inside, God gave us common sense, we need to be accountable for our own actions at some point. So if you chose to eat yourself to an early grave… Read more »

Editor001
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Most RX’s given to the populace are far worse than the disease it was intended to quell. :{ Healing thoughts.

Meade
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Meade

I wouldn’t use BMI as a true indicator of health. You can have a normal or even low BMI and still have too much body fat. Since, BMI does’t measure body fat, and cannot even distinguish between fat and muscle, I would say we need a better system to match that. The important thing is to have a body fat percentage that is healthy. A lot of people in the “overweight” category in the BMI can actually be physically fit and healthy.. Also, we’re assuming that all overweight/obese people practice gluttony. But this is not always true. In fact, more… Read more »

Fred Gomez
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Fred Gomez

Thanks for an informative article. It is truly alarming how enormously fat we’ve all gotten. When my wife and I were married we were both in relatively good shape. Now, 10 years later, I am over 45 lbs bigger and she has gained over 100 pounds. Worse, we see our son and daughter already developing big bellies, especially our daughter, who just loves food so much but we have to put a limit on how much she can eat because we can see she will soon be overweight. We try to eat right and get at least a walk in… Read more »

Fred Gomez
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Fred Gomez

Thank you, Doctor. The problem is that healthy food is much more expensive than quick meals we often have to choose by necessity, whether they be economic or because you are just exhausted after working a 12-hour shift on your feet and have to feed 2 kids. That’s today’s economy – both Mom and Dad have to work two jobs each, 6-7 days a week, just to keep the lights on and gas in the car. Not using that as an excuse, just saying it’s more challenging than “What’s the matter with you? Eat less and exercise more! Very simple!”… Read more »

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