Subject: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Mormon Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 11:16 2004
Author: Nutritionist

I am a nutritionist and work at a SLC diet center, where I've been for the last ten years. More than half of our clientele is LDS, mostly women. Many of these women have had multiple children and struggle with a feeling that they should be able to trim down to "normal" size between births. That's certainly possible, but difficult until the last child's born. What I've noticed is a general low self-esteem about physical appearance among these women (both LDS and non-LDS). They're not what they used to be as teenagers or young college students (although many are young) and they hate it. In some cases, the women reveal that they feel pressured by their husbands (many of whom feel no need to stay trim) to lose the weight. Don't get me wrong, I think maintaining a healthy weight is hugely important, no matter what the motivation may be. Obesity rivals smoking, heavy drinking and poverty as a cause for early death and health problems. More significantly, there are more obese persons in the U.S. (obese = 30 pounds or more overweight) that the sum of all those who smoke, heavy drinkers or live below the poverty line. It is a HUGE problem (no pun intended)!

So, with that background, let me tell you about the first steps to my exit from the church. I am an avid green tea drinker, believing it to have health benefits that outweigh any God-ordained prohibition. At the end of last year I went for a temple recommend interview. When we got to the WoW question, my bishop asked specifically about my green tea drinking. You see, his wife is a client and I had recommended it to her. When I tried to explain the difference between green tea and 19th century "tea" as would be intended in the WoW, he would hear none of it. He wanted a promise from me that I would quit drinking it. When I objected, he told me that it was because I had become addicted, yada, yada, yada.

That's when I lost it! Why, you ask? Because this guy is at least 80 pounds overweight! I asked him - "If the goal of the WoW is to be able to walk and not faint, run and not be weary, who do you think is better able to do that? You or me?"

He wasn't amused, interview ended, and my mind suddenly awakened to the hypocrisy inherent in the LDS commandments!

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard (edited)
Date: Apr 09 11:27
Author: Michael

You tell 'im, person!

One thing to consider putting in the back of your head is that, according to Jewish law, the saving of one's life (pikuakh nefesh, literally "the saving of one's soul) overrides any and all religious laws written down, at least from the Jewish point of view. You could try the "saving of one's soul" as, I don't know, an affirmative defense from any odorous vermin using your WoW against you for tea.

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 11:29
Author: jerichomagic

This isn't so much about obesity but the w.o.w. Chris Rock said it best (although I am paraphrasing, so I am not saying it best): "I don't think when it's time to face God, my diet is going to come into question."

I asked a TBM if I am going to hell for drinking a cappuccino. "Of course not," was the reply, "but, it is against the word of wisdom, so you will have to stop drinking them."

You were basically being told that you will never be able to enter the celestial kingdom because of green tea. Drink green tea=breaking wow=can't get temple recommend=can't get married in temple=can't attain highest degree of glory.

What a crock.

Plus, your bishop was a hypocrite.

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 11:48
Author: Anon

I'm with you. I'm a registered nurse who's been drinking green tea for a long time, my husband also.

Most of the people in hospital beds are there due to life-style related problems.

And an incredible amount of people start having knee, foot and ankle problems because of their weight.

They'd be much better off with a cup of coffee in the morning, tea and water during the day, smaller portions and MOVING their butts.

BTW, we also left the morg due to the insane doctrines and behaviors - and we're happier for it.

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 12:18
Author: anon2

I agree with you and enjoyed reading your post. I have seen some TBM men put tremendous pressure on their wives to slim down after child birth. Especially among the "upwardly mobile" professional type such as lawyers wives, etc. The TBM hubbys expect a baby every other year and a trophy wife too. I know of one woman who eats every other day, and just fasts on the in between day and eats diet meals on the eating day. It seems many of these relationships are dependent on the wives weight. My TBM lawyer brother has mentioned many times how important it is that women stay thin in order to keep the marriage relationship working.
Now that I am not TBM anymore I have considered drinking more green tea and less diet coke, which many mormons are addicted to. I think it is much healthier, but I now must deal with the breaking of the word of wisdom to be healthier, it doesn't make sense.
Do you drink decaf green tea and where do you buy good quality green tea.

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 12:26
Author: Anon

You can buy green tea packets in any grocery store, I always considered green tea herbal tea anyway.

Subject: DON'T get me started on soda!
Date: Apr 09 14:31
Author: Nutritionist

I am absolutely astounded at the number of "big gulp" Dr. Pepper, Coke and Pepsi drinkers I encounter. These things are terrible for you! Especially the regular (i.e., sugar) ones. Not that I'm a crusader or anything.

But it's not just soft drinks. The other day a woman came in with her son and he was drinking a Snapple Apple. The woman was priding herself on the fact that her children didn't drink soft drinks, but only "juices". She was shocked when I informed her that the bottle he was drinking contained almost 60 grams of sugar carbs. Can you say hyper child? Is that ADD/ADHD or just too damn much sugar!

Subject: The first thing a nutritionist said when I told him about my Mormon background
Date: Apr 09 12:45
Author: spinner

A while ago I was at a party and I met a guy from Montreal. OK, he wasn't exactly a nutritionist, he was a sociologist who had done his PhD work in the eating habits of North Americans. We were sitting together enjoying a vodka when it came up that I came from a Mormon background. As soon as this came out, I was expecting him to ask why I would be drinking vodka. Instead, he said "yeah, Mormons, they eat A LOT of sugar." Mormons, he explained, have some of the worst eating habits of people anywhere. They're better off for laying off the cigarettes and the liquor, but they act as if that gives them free rein to eat sugar and fat without consequence. Thus, you have people with healthy kidneys and lungs but horrible hearts.

Subject: Re: Obesity and the Word of Wisdom - A Big Double Standard
Date: Apr 09 14:39
Author: Fedelm

I totally agree with you. I've seen a lot of obese women in the Morg, and considering the sugary foods and lack of real exercise, it's not surprising. I also absolutely love green tea, now even more being free than before getting mixed up in the cult. Once, my TBM ex-husband had a huge fit when I drank some ICED tea in front of him, and there were times when I'd sneak coffee because I love the stuff as well. Meanwhile, this guy drank Mountain Dew by the case, as well as other carbonated beverages, even more than water. My former MIL had severe rheumatoid arthritis that was made worse because of her weight.

Since leaving the Morg, I have rediscovered green tea and I've gone back to my morning cup of coffee, both which are good for the health. Coffee especially, since I do have a family history of diabetes. I also love a glass of wine or beer, but only in moderation.

Subject: I've heard comments from "out--of-staters" that they notice more heavy women here...
Date: Apr 09 14:45
Author: Empowered

...than any other state (Utah)! I always tell them it's because of the Mormon WoW, so their only vice is sugar! We also tend to have a "meat and potatoes" type diet here, which adds to it!

I've also noticed, for YEARS, the amount of people (Mormons) that can't get going in the morning without their "Gulps"...and usually have about 5 throughout the day. HOW do they think this is in keeping with WoW? Moderation in ALL things!

And, I've noticed, being 45 and divorced, that the TBM men are far worse than the nons for wanting the perfect "Barbie doll" wife! The vast majority of them have unattractive guts, but that's okay!

One of my favorite little quotes:

"Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a beer gut and bald head, and still think they're beautiful!"

Subject: This might open a can of worms, but....
Date: Apr 09 15:07
Author: [j] Unholy Practitioner

maybe women just need to throw some of that right back at 'em. I'm male, for the record, and I certainly have an affinity for aesthetics. However, I realize that I have *zero* justification in wanting someone who takes care of themselves, if I'm not going to do just as much. It's simply not fair. So, I /personally/ would expect, that if I'm wanting my girl to be more fit, and I've got a spare tire--well, she ought to tell me to 'shove it'. And rightfully so; it's got to go both ways, IMNSHO.

Subject: It depends on the church leader
Date: Apr 09 14:46
Author: Dent

I also drink a lot of green tea, and the next best thing, black tea (Lipton etc.) when green tea isn't available. I also prescribe it to many church leaders. I currently have a stake president, two bishops, and a returned mission president and former SP on green tea. Either they just think it is an herbal tea or don't connect it to being a WoW tea I don't know, but they drink it.

Some members have said they won't drink it because it is tea. They feel they will be better blessed from abstaining than the benefits they get from the tea. How can you argue with that logic?

Also, decaf doesn't have the same benefits as the regular green tea. You need the whole food, as caffeine helps mobilize the anti-oxidant effects.

Subject: very interesting
Date: Apr 09 14:57
Author: nonamepls

When I lived in Utah in the 70's, my TBM relations were always trying to convince me to convert. The just couldn't understand why I rejected Moism.

One of the "proof's" that Moism was true was their low rate of obesity. You see, following Moism, prevented obesity. Granted, my relations were of healthy weight.

Now approaching 50, my cousin is as frumpy as they come. Perhaps low obesity rates was true in the past, but apparently no longer the case.

BTW, Nutritionist, I work with a bunch of Registered Dietitians. Are you an RD?

Subject: Yes, I am a RD, with B.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences.
Date: Apr 09 15:36
Author: Nutritionist
Subject: "Dear Heavenly Father. We thank thee this day for the opportunity for us to gather at this singles dance. We pray humbly that thou may bless this pizza, cookies, sprite, and sherbet to strengthen our minds, bodies, and souls. InnanaymahJeezissKryssAimin"

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