Can faith combat obesity?

Religion Editor Carla Hinton weighs in on the matter of faith and health, specifically Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, a health and fitness program.
by Carla Hinton Modified: June 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm •  Published: June 23, 2012

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'd like to discuss an issue that is as timely as it is critical: obesity.

I'm specifically talking about the connection between faith and health.

A recent Time magazine story caught my attention several weeks ago and I've just had time to digest it, no pun intended.

The article focused on evangelist Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, a health and fitness program launched in January 2011 at his Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The story came with an appropriately catchy headline: “Does God Want You to Be Thin?”

The Time article describes a slogan on a T-shirt worn by people participating in the program: “God created it. Jesus died for it. The Holy Spirit lives in it. Shouldn't I take care of it,” a motto apparently based on 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Warren, author of the best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” said he based his program on the biblical Book of Daniel. In short, Daniel and three other Jewish boys are taken to King Nebuchadnezzar's court, but they decline the king's meat and wine, opting for vegetables and water instead. Their refusal to eat at the king's table is a metaphor for a person of faith refusing to be sucked into the ways of the secular world — to his eventual benefit.

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