The Scriptures and the New Report on Obesity


The Scriptures and the New Report on Obesity

Richard Hollerman

Quite frequently we read reports on the detrimental effects that being overweight has on the body. A new report illustrates the danger that being obese (very overweight) will have on one’s longevity.

The report that I read was entitled, “Obesity Found to Shorten Lives by 4 Years.”  The article makes these observations:

Obese American adults die an average of almost four years earlier than those with normal weight, and middle-aged obese adults face the highest risk of an early death, a new study suggests.

One expert wasn’t surprised by the findings. “As we are watching the epidemic of obesity grow, we need to understand the huge implications — not just on chronic illness, but also the effect on life expectancy,” said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“It is time that we treat obesity as a medical illness, because, as with other chronic diseases, it causes premature death,” said Steinbaum, who was not involved in the study. ( Health-News/obesity-death- lifespan/2014/01/ 16/id/547552#ixzz2qy6US14Q).

As the report points out, being overweight increases the incident of chronic illness and, along with this, it also is implicated with decreased longevity and premature death.

The article continues: “In the study, researchers Dr. Luisa Borrell and Lalitha Samuel of the City University of New York reviewed data collected by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination survey between 1988 and 1994, as well as national death statistics through the year 2006.”

What connection did the researchers find between obesity and premature death? The article spells out the results:

They found that obesity was associated with at least a 20 percent increased risk of death from all causes or from heart disease. Overall, obese adults died 3.7 years earlier from all causes and 1.7 years earlier from heart disease, compared with normal-weight adults. The study found the risk to be highest among obese adults aged 45 to 64, who died 7.1 years earlier from all causes and up to 12.8 years earlier from heart disease.

Thus, obese individuals may die of heart disease (on the average) about 12 or 13 years earlier than those who are not obese. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that all obese men and women will shorten their life by this many years, but on the average this would be true. Shocking, isn’t it!

This study that was published online Jan. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health underscores the utter danger of weighing too much. This, in turn, shows the danger of eating junk foods and fattening foods, failing to exercise regularly, and being high stressed—factors that are related to being overweight or obese.

Some readers may wonder how all of this relates to the spiritual realm. The connection is very direct and easy to understand.  Consider smoking for a moment. Why do most informed professing Christians oppose smoking and consider it to be sinful? One reason (among many others) is that smoking one pack of cigarettes a day can shorten one’s lifespan by seven or eight years! This is substantial. It is, in effect, telling God, “I do know that you have given me this body, God, and you want me to care for it as your steward. But I so much disrespect you and insist on my own pleasure that I insist in cutting off many years of my life to feed my carnal slavery to tobacco and nicotine.”

The principle pertains to the matter of obesity. If one is addicted to wrong foods, too much foods, junk foods (all of which is a form of slavery), and if he thereby becomes obese (perhaps 30 or 60 pounds overweight), how should we look at this matter? We are guilty of harming the “gift” of our body that God has given to us.

Further, we are to use very day and every month and every year that God gives to us for His glory, His honor, and His service. If we cut off five or seven or even twelve years of our life, doesn’t this make us guilty of a horrific sin in God’s sight? Shouldn’t we be ashamed to meet God with our own blood on our hands? John urges us to “not shrink away from Him [Christ] in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28). If we are responsible for our own premature death, surely we will face Christ with shame when He returns in glory! We should utterly fear facing Jesus when we are partly responsible for our own death!

We encourage all of our readers to renounce all factors that would lead to being overweight. If this is related to a physical problem that you cannot alter, that is one matter. But if you are responsible for being overweight because of your uncontrolled eating or refusal to exercise, then be willing to repent and get right with God today (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27).

Live a full life in service to God your Creator, giving Him the glory for all you are and all you have.















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