When Tim Covell pointed out in 2010 that nine out of ten of the most religious states
are also the most obese, commentators offered explanations like the poverty or
educational levels of those states to explain the results.  His theory that religion is bad
for your health was quickly dismissed.

Now, a longitudinal scientific study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of
Medicine concludes that religious young adults are, “50 percent more likely to be
obese by middle age after adjusting for differences in age, race, sex, education,
income, and baseline body mass index.”    The study tracked 2,433 subjects over a
period of 18 years.

Covell’s used obesity statistics from the Calorie Lab and religiousness statistics from
Gallup polls, to come up with the following chart:

The Northwestern scientists concluded that “people with frequent religious
involvement are more likely to become obese,” but were unwilling to speculate why.

Covell is not so shy.  He suggests that the religious promise of a new body after death
may lead believers to neglect the bodies they have here on earth.  New support
suggests his theory may deserve reconsideration.

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A chart showing that nine out of ten of the most religious states are the most obese