From Fox News. (H/T Dad)
But a potentially larger crisis is looming in the pews of churches across America. In fact, statistics suggest that the church today may indeed be in worse condition than the general population. A 2006 Purdue study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%.
[...]Similarly, a 2011 Northwestern University study tracking 3,433 men and women for 18 years found that young adults who attend church or a bible study once a week are 50% more likely to be obese.
The Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers.
Finally, a 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population at the time of the study.
At the church level pastors and clergy are burdened by the skyrocketing number of their members with chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease and confess that a growing and disproportionate amount their time is spent caring for their ill members and less time spent in study, discipleship, and evangelism.
[...]The obesity epidemic in the church appears to be undermining the primary purpose of the church and its missions work by straining church budgets, decidedly absorbing money that would be spent on missions abroad, and consuming the time and energy of pastors and church members.
I like the tone of this article for two reasons. First, it looks at the Christian mission financially and practically, noting how factors like obesity undermine the primary missions of the church. Second, it does not propose government solutions, but only advises that pastors address the top in sermons.
Speaking for myself, these practical sorts of concerns are always at the forefront of my thoughts. I always think about how I am going to achieve things and how much it will cost. Christianity should be practical, as well as spiritual. We need to emphasize the importance of being informed and being skilled at life. I think it’s a mistake to focus so much on church attendance and spiritual things that we neglect how we are going to achieve the things that we are supposed to be achieving in the world outside of the church.