Evangelist Jerry Falwell is a prime example of a Southern Baptist who is dangerously tipping the scales.
Protestants in general, and Baptists in particular, are much heavier on the whole than their American counterparts in other religions, a Purdue sociology professor has found. One possible reason: Baptists are denied so many vices, food is “one of the few available sources of earthly pleasures,” says the professor.
Chicago Sun Times:
“America is becoming known as a nation of gluttony and obesity, and churches are a feeding ground for this problem,” says Ken Ferraro, a Purdue sociology professor who studied more than 2,500 adults over a span of eight years looking at the correlation between their religious behavior and their body mass index.
... Ferraro’s most recent study, published in the June issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, is a follow-up to a study he published in 1998, where he found there were more obese people in states with larger populations of folks claiming a religious affiliation than elsewhere—particularly in states with the most Baptists.
... Surely there are several contributing factors to such a phenomenon, but when Ferraro accounted for geography (southern cooking is generally more high-caloric), race and even whether overweight folks were attracted to churches for moral support, the statistics still seem to indicate that some churches dispense love handles as well as the love of the Lord.