Our People Are In A Crisis!
According to a study done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2004, 58 million Americans were overweight and 40 million were obese, while 3 million were morbidly obese. Those numbers indicate that by 2004 an estimated 66% of US adults were either overweight or obese. I'd like to believe the numbers are getting better but they are not.
So what is the problem? Part of the problem is that 78% of Americans are not meeting basic activity level recommendations including 25% who are completely sedentary! Couple this trend with the fact that we have been eating more packaged and processed foods that have been "stripped of vital nutrients and laden with excessive amounts of salt, sugar, fat, and synthetic chemicals." As a result, there has been a 76% increase in Type II Diabetes in adults ages 30-40 since 1990.
This issue hits home for me in more ways than one. According to the Center for Disease Control, 2001–2004 data states that 61.4% of American females ages 20-74 are overweight but a terrifying 79.5% of Black women of the same age group are overweight. That number includes 51.6% of Black women who are obese.
This data alone saddens me but then I learned that there is data that Christians are leading the pack of this overweight epidemic. According to an obesity study conducted by Kenneth Ferraro, a Professor at Purdue University, "America is becoming known as a nation of gluttony and obesity, and churches are a feeding ground for this problem." Of the people he surveyed, Southern Baptists had the highest average body weight and Jews and non-Christians had the lowest.
Dr. Ferraro's study sites that "most religions encourage restraint from participating in injurious behaviors, such as heavy drinking and smoking. However, overeating is not considered a great sin — it has become the accepted vice."
At this point I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry. When I thought about the many churches I have visited, the overweight issue is undeniable. I also reflected on the many prayer requests from the Saints looking for healing from ailments that are often behavior and lifestyle driven.
My goal is not to condemn. I want to encourage the BODY of Christ to fight back. We have been given the spiritual authority to walk in victory. Let us use our spiritual authority to make good, healthy lifestyle choices in the natural!
Karar Fitness offers a practical, faith-based approach to fight this epidemic.
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