How to Live Healthier, Longer
Obesity in America: Are Christians Fatter Than Most


Atlanta, Georgia New data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show more Americans than ever are overweight. Nearly two out of every three American adults (64.5%) are either overweight or obese (defined as 30 pounds or more overweight).

The news for children is no better. Nine million children are overweight in America. And children who are overweight have a greater risk of being overweight as adults. The reasons for our overly corpulent population are numerous. Children spend more time in front of the television, computer or video games than ever before. America also leads the world in fast food restaurants with fat saturated offerings that add weight and threaten long-term health.

Cecil Murphey is an award-winning writer and author of Live 10 Healthy Years Longer (W-Publishing). He suggests that one of the problems in teaching children about nutrition is that it doesn't have an immediate cause-and-effect result. "Our bodies can withstand a lot of mistreatment," says Murphey. "They can endure despite all the junk food and poisons we ingest. That is, for a period of time."

The American penchant for immediate gratification is another reason we seem to be gaining more weight. Eventually the mistreatment of our bodies catches up with us says Murphey. "To start making good, healthful choices, we need to understand the reason for eating the right kinds of food." For countless American children and adults, social activity, fun and contentment revolve around the type of food we ingest. Instead of viewing food as fuel, we see it as self-gratification.

Murphey was a minister dealing with his second hospitalization for ulcers before he took diet and exercise seriously. He now lives by the motto, found in the Bible, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (I. Cor. 10:31). An avid walker and runner, he hasn't needed medical attention for more than a decade. "My lifestyle change took place gradually," he says.

For millions of overweight Americans, the new study is further warning of impending stress on an already overburdened healthcare system. Obesity leads to diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, some types of cancer, arthritis, and other serious health risks. Murphey, however, offers eight simple rules about eating that can change the way we look, feel, and how long we live.

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