Weird Food News

Does religion make you fat? Atheist Tim Covell says it does

Atheist author Tim Covell's propagating a new obesity theory, and it has nothing to do with carbs, fat or high fructose corn syrup. Rather, he's noticed a correlation between godliness and obesity.

Specifically, eight of the top ten religious states are also eight of the top ten fattest states.

So naturally, "the link between obesity and religion is undeniable," he says in a press release. "The religious promise of a new body after death may lead the faithful to neglect their bodies here on earth.

As back up to that theory, he cites a study of heart disease patients that were divided into three groups upon recovery: one that received no prayer, one that received prayer but didn't know it and one that received prayer and knew it. The least recovered group? The one that received prayer and knew it.

Sound like shoddy science? There's a disclaimer: Covell acknowledges that religion might not actually cause obesity. Though, he urges us all to consider the possibility that faith might be bad for our health.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk