One third of Americans are suffering from obesity. According toin “High Calling, High Anxiety,” a new book by the Rev. O.S.Hawkins, that fact may be attributed to the way we eat atchurch.
Hawkins’s book, which citesdenominational statistics, states that 75 percent of Baptistpastors eat fried foods at least four nights a week and 40 percentsnack two or more times a day on cookies, chips or candy.
“It seems the secular community is soundingthe alarm over the evils of obesity, but Christian churches do notseem to have heard the message,” Hawkins wrote.
A 1998 study by Purdue University sociologistKenneth Ferraro shows that church members were more likely to beoverweight than other people.
More and more pastors are starting to addressthe issue of overeating as a vice.
Senior Pastor Ed Young at Fellowship Churchtold the Associated Press,
“You’ll see a group of people who haveobviously been to church. And you’ll see them order all thisfat-laden food and then they’ll say, ‘Let’s pray together. God,bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies,'” Young told AP.”The deal is they should have prayed before they ordered, ‘God,help me order stuff that will glorify you.'”
Still churches in general have a long roadahead of them. Church members note that although it’s not thehealthiest alternative, eating fried foods is just part of theculture.
Ariel Jones, a member of Greenforest BaptistChurch in Atlanta, says it’s part of the socialization of thecongregation.
“It’s just something we do. Wegather around food, and talk and get to know each other,”Jones said.