Fast-food restaurants offer larger drinks and sides for a few extra cents. Buffet restaurants compete to offer the cheapest price for unlimited trips to the all-you-can-eat table. For many Americans, that is the new way of life. Get the most food for the least amount of money.
Getting more food for less is part of the demand and supply element that drives capitalism. However, with the number of people suffering from obesity rising every year and Type II diabetes becoming more common among children and adults, there is concern that the search for more food at cheaper prices is a sign of gluttonous behaviors.
“Gluttony can take the place of greed or lusting after something, namely food,” says Robert Doss, a practicing Christian. “The Bible mentions the act of gluttony several times. The bottom line is that I believe that if something gets in the way of you living for the Lord, then it can’t be good.”
With the fast-paced life that many Americans live, especially in bigger cities, stopping on the way home for an already made meal is not just cheaper at times but quick and convenient. Although the negative side effects of consuming fast-food in larger amounts may vary, in many cases it can lead to life-threatening diseases such as high-blood pressure and heart disease. “As a matter of fact, it becomes dangerous and harmful,” Doss said, “not only to your spiritual growth, but to your body as well.”
Obesity contributes to 300,000 deaths in America each year, points out certified health coach and youth pastor Jason Lohrke, who works at Take Shape for Life, a weight loss clinic. “It becomes a choice every day, but we have also been targeted; we’ve been bombarded by multi-billion dollar corporations, food companies and fast food restaurants,” Lohrke said. “We live in a free enterprise, capitalistic society which is a great thing but someone has to step up and have a heart and say ‘look, we are dying by the thousands’.”
Lohrke has helped countless amounts of people change to a healthier lifestyle through Take Shape Through Life. He is able to combine his nutritional knowledge and spiritual faith to help people make the transition to a healthy lifestyle and stay the course. “As far as food, there are a lot of different ways that we can look at who we are in Christ and what we’re supposed to be as his disciples,” Lohrke said. “From a biblical world view, our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit resides. If our bodies are supposed to be temples then we aren’t supposed to abuse them in any way, shape or form.”
The ability to control gluttonous behavior involves more than just an attempt to diet and make the commitment to exercise. It will require that Americans who indulge in such behavior come to terms with what they are doing in contrast to what they should be doing. “It’s not impossible, but it’s very hard when every fast food restaurant and grocery store promotes their items in bulk quantity,” says Doss. “It’s up to the individual to know his or her limitations. I’ve been know to ‘super size’ a drink because I was thirsty; sometimes it takes an extra refill to clinch a thirst.”
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While it is understood by both Doss and Lohrke that the ‘super size’ issue is more of a health dilemma rather than a moral one, they agree that getting caught up in having more food for less money does take control of some people’s lives. “I’ve heard about gluttonous people but I have never actually met a person who seems to live to eat,” Doss said. “We should be promoting the message that ours bodies are temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and we should manage it as if it wasn’t our own but God’s body.”
We should be promoting the message that ours bodies are temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and we should manage it as if it wasn’t our own but God’s body.