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Old 12-27-2008, 07:27 PM   #1  
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Default Seventh Day Adventists: Healthiest Religion?

Here in California, Loma Linda University conducted some studies on the famous health and longevity of members of the Seventh Day Adventist church, whose members tend not only to live longer but stay active throughout their lives. They came to some interesting conclusions.

Of course their focus on vegetarianism and temperance (no drugs/alcohol/smoking) has a LOT to do with it, but I thought it was interesting that an equally important factor was eating small amounts of nuts several times a week. I CAN HANDLE THAT!

Also interesting, they treat gluttony on par with other sins, here in the US it seems many denominations are not that concerned with gluttony sin-wise, if you've ever been to a church pot luck you know what I'm talking about! In Adventist culture it is seen as distasteful to be pounding food in public, in my ex church, somebody was always pushing another piece of lasagna or brownie or donut or something, it seemed every event there was centered on food! Even after mass they always had people selling donuts and bagels in the parking lot.

Anyway, interesting article for dieters of all beliefs. I have no interest in being in that religion (or any religion!) I sure would like to pick up a few of their good habits!

http://news.adventist.org/data/2001/.../index.html.en
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:54 PM   #2  
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I was raised adventist, it varies from church to church. Some are big on the health message, others not so much. I've been to some church potlucks are super healthy and others not so much. In Loma Linda because that is where the med school is based there tends to be Adventists who are very good about living healthfully. For myself the big benefit has been I've never been one to drink or smoke or eat bacon so I had less things to overcome in becoming healthier but like everyone else I've struggled with sweets and fatty foods.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:11 PM   #3  
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Unless you're limiting the idea of "religion" to Christianity only, then the "healthiest religion" title is meaningless unless you include studies of things like Buddhism, Jainism, even Judiaism with it's dietary laws.

Perhaps 7th Day Adventists are the healthiest CHRISTIAN religion, but I doubt they're the healthiest of ALL religions.

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Old 12-27-2008, 08:46 PM   #4  
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From my understanding the study participants are limited to residents of California and according to the article the life span of Adventists:

"exceeds the life expectancies of other Californians by 6.1 years for women and 9.5 years for men."

Per Wikipedia 40% of American Buddhists live in Southern Califonia, the largest American population of muslims there, as well as the 2nd largest population of Jewish People in America residing in LA. So there seems to be a good representation of other Religions in the state. It seems at least that for the state of California people who lived according to the five lifestyle factors assessed: regular exercise, vegetarian, not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, and ate small serving of nuts five to six times a week live longer. It just so happens that in this case the people who seemed to benefit as a group were doing so as part of their religious beliefs. However, regardless of religion anyone can implement these practices and reap the benefits.

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Old 12-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #5  
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Interesting results, but I suspect they would be similar to any group who followed those lifestyle choices for a long time (like the Mormons); and their subjects were very handy for the study (on their doorstep, so-to-speak). I have friends that go to that church too: one eats meat (mostly chicken, but will eat lean beef or pork on occasion); and one doesn't, by personal choice.

Yes, I guess there will always be some people who take the "you are sinning" approach to everything, but that just sends many people running out the door, from my experience. You know what they say ~ if it was that simple, everyone would be doing it ...

They don't harp on one sin over the other (specifically gluttony); probably becuz the bible teaches that 'all sin is sin' and no one sin is worse than the other (as we all sin: which is anything less than perfect goodness). And, thankfully, for all of us, our sins are FORGIVEABLE: as GOD knows, we're a work in progress!!! And, hey JESUS -- thanks for that!

My doctor is a member of that faith and I think he is vegetarian too. He has suggested I eat only one egg at a time, but says an extra egg white is OK too (to keep my cholesterol in check). He has been very encouraging to me about getting healthier, but always in a nice way ...

I asked my friend about their beliefs and googled their church to learn more of their ideas when she joined, as she had some questions herself. They do 'recommend' a healthy lifestyle: no smoking, drinking, less meds except when needed, no pork (a personal choice though), less or no meat (again by personal choice), and encourage exercise for good health.

JMHO ~ I think these lifestyle choices would help anyone, esp if they lived that way for a long time; and if they can master them all. I mean, we all know that ciggies and excess alcohol are bad for us, and so forth. However, I think weight issues are more complex than a small list of rules; but as guidelines, I think they might be useful for prevention and correction ...

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Old 12-27-2008, 10:23 PM   #6  
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It's interesting that a lot of religions have health codes of some sort. I'm LDS and we have the word of wisdom, about healthy eating. It includes not drinking coffees and teas, no alcohols or smoking, drugs, etc. but it say to eat meat sparingly, etc too. It's really interesting that when I am good about following those guidelines that I really do feel healthier and happier. It's all about, religiously speaking, taking care of the body because it's a temple.

Anyway, you can read more about the word of wisdom, you'd probably find it interesting too (it's a really good guideline regardless of your religion) here...

http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basi...word-of-wisdom
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Unless you're limiting the idea of "religion" to Christianity only, then the "healthiest religion" title is meaningless unless you include studies of things like Buddhism, Jainism, even Judiaism with it's dietary laws.

Perhaps 7th Day Adventists are the healthiest CHRISTIAN religion, but I doubt they're the healthiest of ALL religions.

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Sure looks like that buddha statue has had his hand in the cookie jar one too many times.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:34 PM   #8  
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Chinese Buddhas are typically chubbier than Indian Buddhas.
Chinese:

Indian:
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #9  
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About the Chinese vs. Indian buddha- that is really interesting. For some reason I thought that the skinny buddha represented Siddhartha or something, like a representation of the buddha's previous life as well as his perfected life... Am I totally off base there? I don't know why i thought that.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:54 PM   #10  
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Both are correct.

The Happy Buddha, Hotai Buddha, or Chinese Buddha is based on a Chinese Zen monk who lived a couple thousand years ago (I think).

The skinny "Indian" Buddha is more meant to be a representation of Siddhartha Gautama who is the person most recognized as "the Buddha" around whom Buddhism the religion is founded. Gautama Buddha was an acetic, who fasted, hence the skinny and sometimes gaunt representations of him.

The confusion comes when people don't realize that Buddha isn't like the Christian God. There isn't ONE single Buddha. "Buddha" is the honorific given to someone who has attained enlightenment.

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Last edited by PhotoChick; 12-27-2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #11  
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Gotcha.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:53 PM   #12  
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It's funny you should mention it, my girlfriend has this on again off again thing going with an ex-communicated LDS guy (his goal is to get back in the church which is why it's totally hopeless) and she's an agnostic vegan, they had a "discusssion" (aka fight) re: Joseph Smith's take on animal foods and SHE WON! She told him (a hunter) that JS was for eating meat sparingly or something.....and he was arguing with her but when he looked it up SHE WAS TOTALLY RIGHT!!

I read this article where LDS & Orothodox Jews have less obesity than the general populace, just because they don't eat in restaurants as much. We all know that "value meals" just means extra fries and soda, neither are Kosher! There's a Sephardic schull (sp?) by my house and can I tell you, these ladies are walking to services on Sunday with five stepladder kids and they're not a bit fat. THEY DON'T GO TO MCDONALDS AND PIZZA HUT!

Although in my neighborhood we have Kosher everything, we have Kosher Chinese, pizza, French, you name it. And it's really good too! But they don't do a lot of the over-processed stuff.

One of the least obese religions? The Amish!! Natch, because they do the physical labor the rest of us try to avoid.





Quote:
Originally Posted by carcar05 View Post
It's interesting that a lot of religions have health codes of some sort. I'm LDS and we have the word of wisdom, about healthy eating. It includes not drinking coffees and teas, no alcohols or smoking, drugs, etc. but it say to eat meat sparingly, etc too. It's really interesting that when I am good about following those guidelines that I really do feel healthier and happier. It's all about, religiously speaking, taking care of the body because it's a temple.

Anyway, you can read more about the word of wisdom, you'd probably find it interesting too (it's a really good guideline regardless of your religion) here...

http://mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basi...word-of-wisdom
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:58 PM   #13  
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Does anybody live by a Self Realization Center?? We have a few of them here in L.A., it's a great take on religion since it looks for threads of truth running through all the major religions. They have these beautiful gardens. I'm doing a self-realization meditation garden in my yard and working on getting elements of five world religions in there (as finances allow.) With the Buddha, I was really torn on WHICH Buddha but I have to say -- the fat one looks so joyous, there's something about that representation of Buddha that just makes you smile.

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Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Both are correct.

The Happy Buddha, Hotai Buddha, or Chinese Buddha is based on a Chinese Zen monk who lived a couple thousand years ago (I think).

The skinny "Indian" Buddha is more meant to be a representation of Siddhartha Gautama who is the person most recognized as "the Buddha" around whom Buddhism the religion is founded. Gautama Buddha was an acetic, who fasted, hence the skinny and sometimes gaunt representations of him.

The confusion comes when people don't realize that Buddha isn't like the Christian God. There isn't ONE single Buddha. "Buddha" is the honorific given to someone who has attained enlightenment.

.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:17 AM   #14  
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Well, def one of the healthiest religions here in CA and we got everything under the sun for sure!

I have reform Jewish friends who are very casual about the dietary laws, some of them are pretty overweight....but the ones who keep strictly Kosher, are not fat, that's true.

I think it's because it keeps impulsive eating down, if you don't KNOW if something is K, you can't eat it, end of story! It has to have a certificate etc. Drive thrus and vending machines, fuggetaboutit. Good for them!

Same thing for my vegan friend, when she went from vegetarian to vegan, all the sudden she's be reaching for that croissant at work, ooops, butter can't do it! Donut same thing.....most chocolate has some milk element....it's like she has to LOOK for stuff she can eat, rather than just eat yummy stuff that crosses her path at work. Voila! 50 pound weight loss in 2 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Unless you're limiting the idea of "religion" to Christianity only, then the "healthiest religion" title is meaningless unless you include studies of things like Buddhism, Jainism, even Judiaism with it's dietary laws.

Perhaps 7th Day Adventists are the healthiest CHRISTIAN religion, but I doubt they're the healthiest of ALL religions.

.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:53 PM   #15  
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i was a vegetarian for two years but returned to being an omnivore because i gained a lot of weight. being a freshman in college at a school that thinks "vegetarian food" means "crappy salad bar" is pretty tough.

has anyone here read "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs? it's a really interesting "experiment." he attempts to live for a year according to the laws in the bible about dress, food, marital relations, etc. he talks a lot about keeping kosher and what that entails. i love love love Jewish food (kosher or not), but most of the stuff i love is realllly bad for you (lots of schmaltz).
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