Does religion make you fat?

Well, no, not exactly, maybe, but a recent article in the Los Angeles Times cites a study to the effect that young adults who participate regularly in religious activities are more likely to become obese than those who do not. Specifically, people with very high involvement in religious activities were 50% more likely to become obese than those who did not participate at all, even after the data were controlled for such factors as age, sex, race, income, and what I will call the initial condition, that is, the body-mass index of the subjects at the beginning of the study.

Why? The principal investigator, Matthew Feinstein, would not commit himself, but thought it might be the weekly potluck dinners. The LA Times worries about the future of the Jell-O salad. I immediately thought of the movie where Woody Allen decides to become a Catholic and brings home a loaf of white bread and a jar of mayonnaise.

iConfess. Speaking of Catholicism, this month’s issue of The Progressive cites a Reuters dispatch to the effect that the Catholic Church in the United States has approved an iPhone app for confession. Priests need not worry about technological unemployment, however; there is, at least so far, no app for absolution – or is that iAppsolution? – so Catholics will still have to get absolution from a priest.

April Fool joke? Yes indeed, but the stories are real.