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Readers Respond: Are Atheists Really Less Fat than Christians? If so, Why?

Responses: 11

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The data we have is limited, but what we do have indicates that atheists and agnostics in America suffer from obesity a lower rates than do Christians. In fact, the difference between atheists and Christianity might be quite significant. Is this something you've noticed in your own experiences and life?

If so, why do you think this difference would exist? Are there good reasons to think atheists and agnostics are less overweight than Christians (on average)? Or is it just too implausible to take very seriously? Share Your Ideas

I would say This is hard to determine

There are plenty of atheist with a weight problem. AronRa, Penn, TheAmazing Athiest. Hitchens,Dennett. But I was forced to go to church there where always donuts out after service. eating seems to be a big deal in church
—Guest Ryan

Are Atheists Really Less Fat?

I haven't noticed any difference, but if it's true, maybe it's because the Christians have too many bake sales.
—Guest M

Arizona Al

I'd say it's mostly geographical. The Bible Belt is mostly in the South where they are heavy on fried foods, etc.
—Guest Allen C. Dexter

social eating

when i was a christian and went to a christian church they had many social gatherings that involved food. the one thing that i noticed right away is the fact that they had a lot of food at these gatherings and much of it was fattening. they prize their deserts and pray before each meal, which raises the importance of the eating behavior. so why not over eat? god has blessed the food. This is one way they get people to show up and be a part of the (one of the sheep) group. Eat drink and be joyous, after all you are forgiven and saved for all eternity. their children grow up with this kind of conditioning and the trend continues.
—Guest david m

Unburdened

Atheists don't suffer the weight of Christianity.
—LorenFrost

yes

All the atheists I know (some relatives, some friends) are educated and employed. That could be the difference. That said, my fundie co-workers and acquaintances are the most stressed-out, unhealthy people I know. So much for "social ties"!
—Guest evodevo

i know why

its because agnostics and especially atheists are more selfinsightfull,ie know their own self and the world. they dont deceive themselves as the religious do. so,when it comes to eating and exercising,atheists follow the science and dont believe some 'god' rules their lives. so they do what science says about eating and slimming. they dont hide begind their forefinger. they are not selfdeceiving themselves in any field,if they can help it,while the religious do only that. they believe their life is not in their hands. and it is. so they eat as much as their bad psychology and complexes command them to,while atheists,when they have psychologicla problems and complexes that make people overeat,do something about it,something other but not overeating. like going to a nutritionist and psychiatrist. and following their advice. which is eat less,eat better and exercise. and,find the solution to yr psychologcal problems and complexes not at yr table eating loads of food,but with specialists!
—Guest niki

Cliff Willard

I attended the Global Atheist Convention held in Melbourne, Australia in April of this year. I might add it was a very enjoyable and informative experience. The Convention provided light snacks at morning tea and lunch. There were a number of different tables serving different food including vegetarian food. It seems that approximately one third of those attending ate the vegetarian offerings. As conventional wisdom suggests vegetarians have a lighter body mass than the general meat-eating public, this may give at least part of the answer to the questions you raise. In other words, it would seem that there is a higher percentage of vegetarians/vegans who are atheists than in the general public who are not.
—Guest Cliff Willard

My two cents

While I do believe that Americans in general are more likely to be overweight than not. I also believe that theists are more likely to swallow whatever crap that is shoved at them without questioning it. That includes whatever new food is pushed at them on their idiot boxes. But seriously, I think that atheists are just more likely to ask questions about everything including what goes into their food and beverages. Those who are more conscious of what they eat are less likely to be overweight.
—Syvin

Sounds unlikely

I doubt atheism/agnosticism itself directly contributes to weight loss. It's probably a shared cause: for example, higher levels of education and income are correlated with both atheism and lower rates of obesity. But I would be willing to gamble that if you sampled atheists and Christians of the same income, education level, intelligence etc., the atheists would be a bit more overweight. Lack of religion in a predominantly religious society (like the US) can lead to less social ties and increased stress, neither of which are great for your health. But that's just speculation on my part.
—Guest John Squar

Fat and skinny atheists

I look at Teller. But then I look at Penn. Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 well-known overweight atheists. Three of them live or lived in Texas. If what my brain just served up is a reflection of reality, that suggests a geographical correlation.
—Cousin_Ricky

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Are Atheists Really Less Fat than Christians? If so, Why?

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