In this last post on Christianity and the obesity epidemic, I will offer a few suggestions to decrease the overlap in coming years. Before that, the following points are important takeaways from the previous posts.
My first post introduced the overlap between the most obese and most religious states. I also noted that in less than 10 years, our nation will reach 50% obesity in adults.
In the second post, I explained how obesity impacts various body systems, and that on average, it takes 7 years off a woman’s life and 6 years off a man’s.
The third post focused on the rise of childhood obesity and noted that the church faces a multi-generational struggle as these numbers show no signs of slowing down.
Now, I want to close out this series by offering a few simple steps forward.
Once we’re aware of the overlap between obesity and Christianity, believers need to pray. Pray for growing awareness, the ability to have difficult but necessary conversations, and the fortitude to change unhealthy behaviors with food and exercise. We need to pray for the American church to set an example for unbelievers in the way we think about and treat our bodies. And we should pray for future generations of believers to rightly prioritize their physical health (after cultivating spiritual health of course) as a necessary aspect of Christian living.
Christians need to be educated on the basics of exercise and nutrition, which is exactly why I wrote Be Well. Once you’re equipped with even minimal eating and exercise information, it serves as an effective foundation for making healthy choices. You can also check out my resources page with posts that contain lots of free wellness advice.
My new podcast, Forsaken Body, is another way to increase your knowledge of health and fitness basics. My good friend and co-host, Nicci DeLisi, is a nurse practitioner, and each episode will cover topics relating to the body from both a medical and theological perspective. It launches Tuesday, November 1st, and you can find it on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple podcasts.
If you struggle with weight problems, there is good news! Studies show that losing just 5-10% of your body weight lowers your risk of obesity-related diseases. That minimal amount of weight loss can happen with simple lifestyle changes like my program, Understand Healthy. It seeks to cultivate lasting lifestyle change by layering basic, healthy behaviors over 30 weeks and allows you to progressively modify everyday choices that impact your health. This approach is the best way to maintain a new lifestyle as good habits must be formed over time, and bad habits take time to unlearn.
God’s word provides more than enough motivation for taking steps to get healthy. I wrote about 15 of those motivations in this post about New Year’s Resolutions.
The reality is that we have the greatest motivation to take control of weight issues. Think about the following truths expressed throughout Scripture.
I want to close out this series on a personal note. If you can’t tell, the Lord made me passionate about the overlap between Christianity and the obesity epidemic years ago. Since then, he has equipped me with different insights and experiences to tackle it head on. I hope my posts have brought attention to and awareness of an issue that I’m convinced is important for our expression of the Christian faith.