August 13, 2017: Medical news and education site Healio has reported on a study in the Obesity Reviews journal that claims that religiosity is generally associated with higher body weight. The exception to this tendency appears to be Adventism.
The study (authored by Yeary et al.) was titled “Religion and body weight: a review of quantitative studies.”
The researchers pointed to a trend in several studies in which Adventists consistently weighed less than non-Adventists.
“Seventh-day Adventist doctrine espouses lacto-vegetarian diets, which may be protective against obesity in this population,” wrote researchers in one of the studies considered by Yeary and his colleagues.
“However, it is unclear whether the totality of Seventh-day Adventist adherents — including those who do not adhere to vegetarian diets — have lower body weights than non-Seventh-day Adventists. Vegetarians among Seventh-day Adventist adherents may be responsible for the lower body weights of Seventh-day Adventists.”
In most studies looking at religiosity and body weight, researchers found that religiosity was associated with higher body weight.
“Although the magnitude of religiosity’s relationship with body weight may be a small effect size at best, religiosity as a social factor in obesity is similar to other social factors that predict variations in body weight,” the researchers wrote.