Christians and the Defense of Obesity

Discussion in 'Health and Wellness' started by InTheLight, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    I'm posting this as a reaction to the news story that an 8 year old boy was removed from his home by Child Protection Services because he was severely overweight at 200 lbs. I DO NOT want to rehash that story, I'm merely bringing it up because it acts as a catalyst for this post.

    I've noticed here at BB and at other Christian forums I've read over the years that there is a defense of obesity. I remember a thread on this board where people were claiming that being overweight was not offensive to God because it was not gluttony. That the verse that refers to the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit did not mean that the Spirit was being grieved because a person happened to be overweight. (I DO NOT want to discuss the interpretation of this verse.)

    My observations have been that many Christians are quick to defend being overweight or to poo-poo statistics pointing to the health risks and outcomes of being overweight. Apparently it is perfectly fine to be 50 pounds overweight. There is nothing wrong with it.

    I'd like to hear from people that think being overweight is a not big deal. What's the rationale?

    Please spare me the exceptions where it It could be a glandular malfunction; it could be that although someone is overweight they still participate in athletic activity; it could be hereditary and there is 'nothing' the person can do about it. Don't harangue about how it's none of anyone else's business how much someone weighs. Don't go off on how it's not the government's business to get involved in ANY WAY.

    I simply want to know: Why is it OK to be overweight?

    And before you retort with "Who says it is OK?" just look around the next time you are at the shopping mall or grocery store. People are saying it's OK by the amount of body fat they are carrying around.
     
  2. matt wade

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    Your "retort" wasn't good enough to start with. In sticking with the OP, the retort should be "Which Christians say it is OK?". The premise of your entire OP is that Christians believe it is OK to be overweight.

    I'd also say that the definition of overweight needs to be figured out. If you look at height weight charts, I'm severely overweight. I'm 6'4" tall and according to these charts I should be between 181 and 207 pounds (as listed for someone with a large frame). If I weighed 181 pounds, I would be a skeleton. If I weighed 207 pounds I would still be pretty stinking thin. I currently weigh roughly 240 pounds and feel like I would like to lose about 10 pounds. According to those charts I am at minimum 33 pounds over weight. That's insane. (btw, I play full court basketball for almost 2 hours, 5 days a week. So, I exercise...a lot.)

    Yes, I got a bit side tracked there. The point is that defining "over weight" is hard. I don't think the charts and such do a good job of it.

    I don't think any Christian will defend someone that is obese (except for medical disorders). There's a big difference between obese and this "over weight" you are talking about.
     
  3. Salty

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    I disagree- We often will let people we know "slide" on this issue. But Heaven forbid they were to have on glass of wine. Seems we as Christians have selective "sin issues"

    I think ITL had a very informative and important post

    In a sense you are correct - but that like saying that in school with a passing grade of 65 - there is a big difference between a student receiving a 60 and a student receiving a 30 on his Regents.
    Bottom line - both failed! ( On my biology regents, I received a 63 )

    Currently as of this AM my BMI is 42.6 - My midterm goal (Labor Day of 2012) is for a BMI of 33.3

    To compute your BMI


    The BMI scale:
    • Underweight = <18.5
    • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
    • Overweight = 25–29.9
    • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
    I will mention also that the H/W charts are not perfect - but should at a minimum be used as a guide. If in doubt - talk to your doctor.
     
  4. mandym

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    Why is not ok to be over weight.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    At some point being over weight because of personal choices is wrong. The problem is trying to figure out what normal weight is. I am not certain that BMI is a proper standard by which to determine that.

    I am glad for the BMI though, it motivated me to lose a chunk of weight, but I am still above what BMI recommends. I can't even imagine how 140 pounds (10 stone, 63.5kg) would be healthy for my height and age. I weighed that at 14 and I was skinny then.
     
    #5 NaasPreacher (C4K), Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
  6. Salty

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    It is bad for our health here is a good website

    You can die sooner :tear:- nuff said!
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    Nobody is saying it's "okay" to be overweight simply by being large. That is absurd.

    I get so tired of hearing that it's a sin to be overweight. It is NOT a sin. Being overweight is the result of over-indulgence which IS a sin.

    People overeat for different reasons. People overspend for different reasons. You don't tell someone it's a sin to have bills. No, it's a sin to mismanage your money.

    God looks at the HEART, not the HEFT. Sin originates in the heart, not the hips, not the credit card, not the clothes, etc. What we see on the outside is only the RESULT of what is in the heart. God deals with the heart, not the outside.
     
  8. InTheLight

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    I admit I titled the thread to be a bit provocative. I'm looking for responses.

    Agreed.

    Charts that I've looked at say you can weigh 203 pounds and still be considered normal weight.

    I agree that the BMI charts may not be the best gauge of obesity. I'm 6' 3" and weigh 220. I want to weigh 205. In the summer when I'm more active I get down to around 210. According to the BMI charts I would still be overweight at 205.

    Years ago a doctor told me at a routine physical exam that I needed to get my weight down. At that time I weighed 215. He suggested I get down to what I weighed when I graduated from high school, which was 195. That's crazy. That would take full time diet and exercise dedication to reach and maintain that weight. I actually asked the doctor, "So how many women do you tell need to weigh what they weighed when they graduated from high school?" No answer.


    Yes, defining obesity vs. overweight is tricky.

    I know Christians will defend being overweight. Just look around church sometime. How many are grossly overweight? (Meaning wearing clothing that is many sizes larger than when they were in their 20's.) On another Christian forum which shall remain nameless there was a discussion of being overweight and more than half the regular posters said it was nobody's business how much someone weighed and that there was nothing wrong with being overweight so long as you could function in daily life.
     
  9. InTheLight

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    Why is it absurd to think if someone is overweight that they are saying it is "okay"? Actions speak louder than words and all that.

    I didn't say it was a sin.

    I think you are splitting hairs in your definitions. Also, I think you would have a much harder time defining overindulgence vs. defining being overweight. If someone can eat a three ham and cheese omelet for breakfast, a half pound bacon cheeseburger for lunch, and an entire pizza for dinner on a daily basis and years later still fall into the normal weight range on the BMI chart, is that overindulgence?

    In most cases, having bills you can't pay is a direct result of mismanaging your money. In most cases, being overweight is the direct result of overindulgence. I didn't use the word "sin" in this thread to describe overweightness.

    I think you are making a distinction without a difference.
     
  10. mandym

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    It is not a given that everyone who are at this level are automatically having health issues. Some people maintain a very good health at this level. The standard for weight that you will find in a doctors office is often excessively low and wants people to be paper thin.

    By the same token some people who are within acceptable guidelines for weight still have issues with cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure etc.
     
    #10 mandym, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
  11. InTheLight

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    Health reasons. Increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.

    For example, the incidence of diabetes has tripled in the past 30 years. Estimates show that about 25% of the U.S. population will have diabetes by the year 2050.

    Financial reasons. Because overweight people are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, they create more medical needs which costs them more money and costs others more money in the form of increased health insurance premiums. Why should healthy, normal weight people pay the same health insurance premium as a grossly overweight person?

    Emotional reasons. There are people I love that are overweight. I don't want to see them suffer needlessly and possibly die prematurely because they contract something that could have been prevented by losing some weight. There are people that love me that want to see me live long. I have a couple of children that are still in school. I want to be healthy and live long so I can see my grandchildren. I'm sure my kids want their future children to have grandparents. Being overweight erodes your longevity.
     
  12. InTheLight

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    My observations have been that many Christians are quick to defend being overweight or to poo-poo statistics pointing to the health risks and outcomes of being overweight.
     
  13. mandym

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    My observations have been that the standard for what is over weight is extreme and not realistic. It is much like the poverty issue. The line gets moved to support a political agenda.
     
  14. InTheLight

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    How about personal observation? You see someone and you can decide for yourself whether or not that person could lose some extra weight. Next time you are out in public, say at the mall, take a look around.
     
  15. mandym

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    Regardless of their weight, if their numbers are good who are we to judge? And as I said some thin people have the same issues (ie cholesterol, BP etc) that are being blamed on being over weight.
     
  16. webdog

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    What would be realistic in your opinion?
     
  17. webdog

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    Bad stewardship of what has been given to you. We are called by God to be good stewards.
     
  18. mandym

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    Says who?....
     
  19. Jim1999

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    Fat is fat regardless of actual pounds weighed. The pulpit is not intended to be a belly rest.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. webdog

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    Luke 16:2,10,13. And he called him and said to him, "What is this I hear about
    you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.
    He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is
    unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous in much. You cannot serve both
    God and mammon.
     

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