Internet atheism and obesity

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Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[1] According to the Gallup Organization, "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."[2]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Although the atheist community is very ineffective on the internet, it is very active on the internet (see also: Internet atheism).[3][4]

In an essay entitled How the Atheist Movement Failed Me, an atheist woman noted that participation in the atheist community is often expensive due to the cost of attending atheist conferences and even local atheist meetings in restaurants and bars challenged her modest budget.[5] As a result of the challenges that atheists commonly have in terms of socializing in person, many atheists turn to the internet in terms of communicating with other atheists.

In 2009, an Australian university study was done concerning the association between leisure time internet and computer use with being overweight and/or obese and also sedentary.[6] The study concluded: "These findings suggest that, apart from nutritional and physical activity interventions, it may also be necessary to decrease time spent in sedentary behaviors, such as leisure-time Internet and computer use, in order to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity."[7]

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[8] From a medical perspective, an obese person has accumulated enough body fat that it can have a negative effect on their health. If a person's weight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he/she is generally considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.[9] The term obese can also used in a more general way to indicate someone who is overweight.[10]

According to the Gallup Organization, "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."[11] On the other hand, there is a notable number of prominent overweight and/or obese atheists (for more information please see: Atheism and obesity).

Contents

PZ Myers

PZ Myers

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

PZ Myers is an atheist biology professor and active blogger who writes a blog entitled Pharyngula. 2009 pictures of a significantly overweight PZ Myers can be found HERE and HERE and HERE. A 2010 picture taken in Australia shows PZ Myers drinking ale/beer and he had excess weight in his abdominal area.[12] In 2010, PZ Myers had health problems related to his heart.[13] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[14][15] Given PZ Myers' biological training and the wide dissemination of the harmful health effects of being overweight in terms of cardiovascular health and brain function, it is unfortunate that preventative medicine was not used in greater measure in terms of his health.[16][17][18] PZ Myers' inattention to diligently implementing the recommendations of medical science is not entirely surprising given his vehement advocacy of evolutionary pseudoscience. There have been a number of notable evolutionists who have been overweight.

PZ Myers' visit to the Creation Museum

In August 2009, PZ Myers led a group of over 300 atheist and agnostic students on a tour of the Creation Museum.[19] During the visit, Myers had noticeably greater difficulty than others climbing on and off a dinosaur model due to the fact that he was overweight and out of shape.VIDEO

Greta Christina

Greta Christina is a popular atheist blogger at freethoughtblogs.com. In addition, she is a atheist speaker and author. A 2007 picture of an overweight Greta Christiana can be found HERE. She is in a same-sex marriage with a woman named Ingrid.[20]

See also: Lesbianism and obesity and Homosexuality and obesity

YouTube atheism and obesity

TheAmazingAtheist

As noted earlier, atheists are very active on YouTube. [21] As of August of 2012, the most popular YouTube channel run by an atheist is TheAmazingAtheist YouTube channel which has over 300,000 subscribers. TheAmazingAtheist YouTube channel is produced by an overweight atheist.[22] In one video, TheAmazingAtheist exclaimed "Why am I so fat?"[23]

On August 12, 2012, an article entitled Atheism: A religion of degenerates declared:

TheAmazingAtheists was caught on videotape doing something very perverse and unusual with chocolate syrup, coffee and a banana! The embarrassing episode was dubbed BananaGate. One of the last things TheAmazingAtheist needs in his residence is chocolate syrup given the abundant amount of flab which hangs over his belt... This is another example of atheism being a religion of foolish and depraved clowns.[24]
Matt Dillahunty

(photo obtained from Creative commons, see license agreement)

Matt Dillahunty

Matt Dillahunty currently serves as the president of the Atheist Community of Austin. In addition, Mr. Dillahunty also serves as a host of the internet radio show "Non-Prophets Radio" and of the Austin television cable access show "The Atheist Experience" which rebroadcast shows on YouTube. As of April 21, 2011, the Atheist Experience show had over 30,000 YouTube subscribers.

Matt Dillahunty was raised a Southern Baptist but now likes the works of non-Christians such as Robert Ingersoll, Voltaire and the atheists Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins and Farrell Till.[25]

Mr. Dillahunty also promotes himself via Facebook and Twitter.

Recently, the popular Christian YouTube channel Shockofgod produced a humorous video which featured Matt Dillahunty entitled Why does atheism leave us hungry for truth?.

HappieCabbie

As of September of 2011, the atheist who produces the YouTube channel HappieCabbie, which has over 28,000 subscribers, is also overweight.[26]

Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity

See also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health and Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity

Some of the medical conditions associated with obesity include: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, arthritis, cancer, sleep apnea, reproductive problems in women and varicose veins.[27] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[28]

Medical research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[29]

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the symptoms associated with obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

Concerning the issue of depression, atheists do have higher rates of suicide than the general population.

Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

See also: Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

A PET scan of the brain of an individual with Alzheimer's disease reveals a loss of function in the temporal lobe.

In 2005, WebMD published:

People with diabetes are at particularly high risk of Alzheimer's disease. But now there's strong evidence that people with high insulin levels -- long before they get diabetes -- already are on the road to Alzheimer's disease.

As the body becomes more and more overweight, it becomes more and more resistant to the blood-sugar-lowering effects of insulin. To counter this insulin resistance, the body keeps making more insulin...

Insulin Triggers Amyloid Buildup

High insulin levels are known to cause blood vessels to become inflamed....

One dangerous effect of this insulin-caused brain inflammation is increased brain levels of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is the twisted protein that's the main ingredient in the sticky plaques that clog the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

"What was striking was the magnitude of the effect," Craft tells WebMD. "Inflammation can be a result of amyloid elevations but can also create an environment in which amyloid is made more readily. Inflammation can be both the result and cause of amyloid production."[31]

A 2009 health report on a medical study indicated:

They compared the brain scan of 94 people in their 70s who were obese & overweight. They found that the obese had lost tissue in the frontal & temporal lobes areas critical for planning & memory. Declines were also seen in areas used for attention & executive functions, long term memory & movement

A neurologist Professor Paul Thompson said, “That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain. But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control.”M[32]

Health effects of Alzheimer's disease

An animation of a human left temporal lobe (right is side similar).

(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

Alzheimer's disease is "characterised by loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. This loss results in gross atrophy of the affected regions, including degeneration in the temporal lobe and parietal lobe, and parts of the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus.[33] Some of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are: memory problems, mood swings, emotional outbursts, brain stem damage which impairs function in the heart, lungs plus causes disruption of various other bodily processes.[34]

An abstract of the medical study entitled Measures to Assess the Noncognitive Symptoms of Dementia in the Primary Care Setting by Brent P. Forester, M.D. and Thomas E. Oxman, M.D. inidcated "Noncognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias include psychosis, mood disturbances, personality changes, agitation, aggression, pacing, wandering, altered sexual behavior, changed sleep patterns, and appetite disturbances. These noncognitive symptoms of dementia are common, disabling to both the patient and the caregiver, and costly."[35]

According to the Center for Neuro Skills:

Kolb & Wishaw (1990) have identified eight principle symptoms of temporal lobe damage: 1) disturbance of auditory sensation and perception, 2) disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input, 3) disorders of visual perception, 4) impaired organization and categorization of verbal material, 5) disturbance of language comprehension, 6) impaired long-term memory, 7) altered personality and affective behavior, 8) altered sexual behavior.[36]

Obesity, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and prevention

See also: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

Weili Xu, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, declared: "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia".[37]

For more information please see: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

Chuck Norris on the topics of obesity and internet atheism

See also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health and Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity

Chuck Norris endorses the Total Gym exercise system.[38]

In April of 2011, the conservative Christian Chuck Norris wrote concerning being overweight and/or obese:

"The problems with being overweight and obese go far beyond looks. They affect our mentality, mobility and can lead to a number of physical diseases and ailments...

It's true that genetics, environment, socio-economic status, metabolism and behavior can be contributors to these ailments. But the fact is most Americans are overweight and obese because they eat poorly and don't exercise. Most of our foods are super high in fats, sugars and salt. And, compared to other countries, we eat much larger portions. We live to eat – most other cultures eat to live.

The primary reason obesity statistics and these subsequent illnesses are so high is that our culture is entrenched in hedonism, which means we are all about pleasure. We go where we feel like going. We do what we feel like doing. We watch what we feel like watching. And we eat what we feel like eating. And God help the soul who tells us to do otherwise...

... We think doing what we feel like doing is power and freedom, when really it's just carrying out what our flesh craves. True freedom is being able to look straight in the eye of what you feel like doing (even if it's wrong) and possessing the power to say no. Eating what we want isn't liberty – that's tyranny. Eating what is right is freedom – that's victory over oppression. And triumph over the tummy should be our next battle. Fighting for a better America includes fighting for a healthier, fitter, combat-ready you. (That is why my new cultural warrior book, "Black Belt Patriotism," contains an entire chapter on helping you win the consumption war and not just the culture wars. Get a free chapter here.)"[39]

Chuck Norris signing a T-shirt for a soldier in the United States Marine Corps.

Chuck Norris on atheism and the internet

In 2007, WorldNetDaily featured a column by Chuck Norris which declared:

Atheists are making a concerted effort to win the youth of America and the world. Hundreds of websites and blogs on the Internet seek to convince and convert adolescents, endeavoring to remove any residue of theism from their minds and hearts by packaging atheism as the choice of a new generation. While you think your kids are innocently surfing the Web, secular progressives are intentionally preying on their innocence and naivete.

What's preposterous is that atheists are now advertising and soliciting on websites particularly created for teens.

YouTube, the most popular video site on the Net for young people, is one of their primary avenues for passing off their secularist propaganda.[40]

(Atheism internet outreach efforts, however, have been very ineffective. )

See also

Notes

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes
  2. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  3. Internet atheism: The thrill is gone!
  4. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55789
  5. How the Atheist Movement Failed Me – Part 1: Cost
  6. http://www.jmir.org/2009/3/e28/
  7. http://www.jmir.org/2009/3/e28/
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes
  9. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/obesity/
  10. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obesity?show=0&t=1293887890
  11. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  12. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reuvenim/4426093513/
  13. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/thats_not_a_heart_its_a_flaili.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28Pharyngula%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
  14. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  15. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  16. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  17. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21121834
  19. "Creation Museum: Is This How World Began?" (ABC News)
  20. http://gretachristina.com/personal.html
  21. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55789
  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2WLulSQvYU
  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2WLulSQvYU
  24. Atheism: A religion of degenerates
  25. http://www.atheist-experience.com/people/matt_dillahunty/
  26. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y3_hrijrHY
  27. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
  28. Obesity and Alzheimer's: High Insulin Levels Linked to Alzheimer's
  29. Obese people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s
  30. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Neurodegeneration-in-Alzheimers-and-Parkinsons.aspx
  31. http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/559
  32. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419385/
  33. http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/btemporl.shtml
  34. Obesity in Middle Age May Increase Risk of Dementia
  35. http://www.totalgymdirect.com/
  36. http://www.wnd.com/index.php/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=109051
  37. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55789
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