THE BIBLE AGAINST OBESITY


“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." (I Corinthians 10:31)


(Investigator 155, 2014 March)


OBESITY THREAT

Climbing obesity rates threaten to produce more diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, depression, cancer and cognitive decline.

The Weekend Australian reports: “Almost a billion people in the developing world are now overweight or obese as they start to eat like people in the rich West… This outnumbers the 852 million who do not have enough to eat, as well as the 557 million people in the West who are overweight or obese." (January 4-5, 2014, p. 9)

The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Report for 2013 says that the average weight of Australians aged 25-44 increased 6½kg in 12 years.


DANIEL'S "TEST"


In the article Bible Tucker is Good Tucker (#53, March 1997) I wrote on Daniel Chapter 1 where Daniel and three companions conducted a "test".

They rejected the "rich food and wine" of King Nebuchadnezzar and requested vegetables and water.


The test was scientific — it had a control group and an experimental group. The control group did what they normally did and consumed "rich food and wine". The experimental group, consisting of Daniel and his friends, was subject to an experimental variable, a change in diet. The two groups were matched according to age. (Daniel 1:10)

After ten days an independent observer found the vegetable eaters "better in appearance and fatter in flesh."

Daniel's experimental methods became cornerstones of 20th century science, including:
1. Using a control group and an experimental group;
2. Controlling for variables which experience suggests are relevant such as age;
3. Independent assessment — not leaving the evaluation to the prejudices of the experimenter.

Modern research has shown that eating lots of vegetables fights obesity and hence diabetes, besides indigestion, appendicitis, diverticulitis and varicose veins, and provides vitamins and minerals that maintain general health.  


DANIEL FOR AMERICA

Blakely (2013) reports: "The Daniel diet, inspired by the Old Testament prophet of the same name, is being embraced by portly evangelical Christian congregations across the US as they battle to lose weight."

Rick Warren (b.1954), head pastor of Saddleback Church in California, has co-authored the book Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (2013). The Saddleback Church runs a website that includes videos on the evils of fat. The idea is to make the congregation healthier and potentially the nation, by losing fat.

Pastor Warren has long been a celebrity. 30,000 people hear his sermons and he has written many books including The Purpose Driven Life (2002) which sold 30 million.

When Christians follow the Bible and "love your neighbor" this "love" should include setting a godly example:
Setting an example should include food and drink because: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." (I Corinthians 10:31)


SUGAR, FAT and FASTING


The main sweetening agent in ancient Israel was honey. But the Bible recommended honey in moderation. (Proverbs 25:27) Today the main sweetening agent is sugar and the same counsel would apply. Perhaps you've experienced "heat wave" weather when you ate less and thought you'd lose weight, but drank more and gained weight, because you drank sugar-sweetened drinks from the shop. Watch what you drink!

The Bible gives eating of animal fat a bad press: "It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your settlements: you must not eat any fat or any blood." (Leviticus 3:17) Eating of vegetable-fats as in olives and nuts, however, is encouraged.

The Daniel Plan diet of lean meat, fruit, vegetables and whole grain basically agrees with my list of Bible foods in #53.

Christians often fast during periods of contemplation and prayer. Fasting has physical benefits too. Emma Young (2012) writes: "A new surge of [scientific] interest in fasting suggests that it … could also reduce the risk of developing cancer, guard against diabetes and heart disease, help control asthma and even stave off Parkinson's disease and dementia."  

And don't forget exercise — Jesus, the apostles and the prophets walked a lot. "Physical training is of some value…" (I Timothy 4:8)


CONCLUSION


Obesity is a fad contrary to the Bible and threatens people's health worldwide.

 Daniel Chapter 1 joins many other Bible teachings as scientifically confirmed and together they prove the Bible the "Word of God".




REFERENCES:

Blakely, R. Pastor puts faith in Daniel Diet, The Weekend Australian, November 30-December 1, 2013, p. 9

Warren. R. 2002 The Purpose Driven Life, Zondervan

Warren R. and Hyman, M. 2013 Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, Zonderman

Young, E. Deprive yourself, New Scientist, 17 November, 2012, 47-49.

Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Report

www.bakeridi.edu.au/Assets/Files/Baker IDI Ausdiab Report_interactive_FINAL.pdf


http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/