The Church Diet

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 13 2011 @ 6:05pm


After noticing the obesity of his congregants, Rev. Rick Warren convinced his megachurch to join him in becoming healthier. He enlisted the help of metabolism expert Dr. Mark Hyman:

As [Warren] talked about Saddleback, he mentioned that the church had thousands of small groups of  6 to 10 people who meet every week to discuss the Bible and their own spiritual journeys. “A light bulb went off,” said Hyman.  “That’s the best delivery mechanism for a healthy-living curriculum.”  Warren embraced the idea instantly. Later, Hyman outlined a program for Saddleback, which he called “lifestyle medicine delivered through the power of small groups.” “The most important ingredient in the cure is the healing power of the group,” he wrote.

After one year, 72% of participants had lost weight. Dee Eastman, the director of the healthy living plan, explained, "We know there’s a 50 percent better chance of sustaining long-term lifestyle change if you do it in community."

(Image by Flickr user bunchofpants)