LotStreetWiz has commented on the sudden rise in obesity in North America.
Calorie Lab has unearthed a U.S. study from 1998 that showed:
states with large numbers of persons professing a religious affiliation had higher than average numbers of obese people. In the new study, he breaks this down by specific creed, and reports that whereas 1 one percent or less of those embracing the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other non-Christian religions qualify as obese, the numbers of the markedly overweight rise dramatically the further one goes toward the Christian fundamentalist end of the spectrum: around 17 percent of Catholics, 18 percent of Methodists, 20 percent of Pentecostal and Assemblies of God parishioners, and a striking 27 percent of Baptists, including the Southern, North American and Fundamentalist wings.
The article adds:
among congregations whose belief system prohibits — and often preaches against — such indulgences as alcohol, tobacco, and even dancing, overeating is the one “virtuous” excess left to the faithful.
Now that’s one factor that I hadn’t considered.