Obesity and Us

This article prompted me to start what may be the most unpopular or most ignored post ever on SI. I believe we all agree that we don't smoke because it's been proven that smoking is harmful to our bodies which are called the temples of God. Could it be that we are abusing those same temples with food? This is not about legitimate medically diagnosed glandular problems that may cause obesity nor is it about comparing food to alcohol. It is not about body image. It's about the fact that perhaps up to 80% of American health problems may be diet related. It's about, as my doctor and nutritionist both  said, "If your waist measurement at your navel is more than half your height, you're heading for health problems."

BTW, if you'd like to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) and either confess or start making excuses this simple tool will do that.

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JD Miller's picture

Thanks, Ron.  I agree that this subject has been neglected for too long.  I also commend you for clarifying that there can be other issues involved that are beyond people's control.  I like what you wrote:

This is not about legitimate medically diagnosed glandular problems that may cause obesity nor is it about comparing food to alcohol. It is not about body image. It's about the fact that perhaps up to 80% of American health problems may be diet related. It's about, as my doctor and nutritionist both  said, "If your waist measurement at your navel is more than half your height, you're heading for health problems."

There is no way I can tell just by looking whether an overweight person has a medical issue that is beyond their control.  At the same time, we have a stewardship issue here.  Not only is the body of a Christian, the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is what we use to serve Christ.  If I have trouble standing up and walking because I am overweight, I will not be able to serve as effectively as I otherwise would.

I realize that I have to die in order to get another body, so I want to take care of the one I have.  I am a bi-vocational pastor so I currently get plenty of exercise and am not overweight.  When I quit farming and went to Bible College, I suddenly found myself less active.  I immediately implemented a diet plan.  I am about 6ft 1in with a large frame, so I decided if I was over 180 I would start to reduce my bread intake.  If that did not slow things down and i got close to 185, I would skip desert.  If I got above 185, it was time to skip desert, bread, and cut rations.  That kept me about 183 most of the time.  Now I am so active that I eat what I want and I stay about 170.  I still do not eat a lot of deserts though, but I do like my chocolate.  I read somewhere that chocolate is good for you.

Doing construction, I also have to take care of my body in other ways.  I make sure not to lift too much and instead take longer to get the job done so that I am able to return to the job without severe damage to my back and knees.

Taking care of the body takes discipline.  When I got up to 185, I would watch people much heavier than I was consistently take twice as much food as I did.  They did not seem to care.  Even with the large portions I now eat just to maintain my weight, I still see heavy people taking much larger portions than I do.  I view that as poor stewardship.  That is not the same as someone who takes a modest portion and still gains weight because of a medical issue.

 

 

 

BryanBice's picture

I've heard plenty of stewardship series in church that focus on the 3 T's: Time, Talent, & Treasure. NEVER have I heard a stewardship message on the 4th T, the Temple. It's a tragic neglect.

JD Miller's picture

As we deal with this subject, let us also be careful not to neglect the real challenge of anorexia.  That too can be a stewardship issue and may even be a a pride, or contentment issue.  Notice I said "may."  When dealing with this trying issue there are too many factors to consider in just a short response like this.  There are a lot of factors that can cause it.  We must realize that these are real issues with hurting people facing a spiritual struggle.  May we challenge while still lovingly guiding them through these struggles.

Ron Bean's picture

Today, 7 in 10 Americans are obese or overweight, but only 36 percent think they have a weight problem. In other words, close to half the people who are overweight or obese don't think they're overweight or obese. 

 

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan