There are over 100 million people in the world today who are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Eight out of every ten Americans over the age of 25 are overweight. Our children are not immune to this growing epidemic, making it critical that childhood weight problems be addressed before poor lifestyle habits are deeply ingrained.
With these facts in mind, what are we to do? It is apparent that this cannot be reversed through dieting and pills, because despite this, we have an obesity epidemic.
When a medical condition as a causative or contributing factor has been addressed and ruled out, it is clearly then an issue of lifestyle and of the heart. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. To complicate matters even more is the issue that eating is necessary for life, and you can’t just stop eating. Therefore, we must realize that what, when, and how much we eat is the lifestyle that must change. Because of this, more than human wisdom and effort is needed.
We are God’s possession and not our own. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19, 20.
We must accept that when we do anything to damage our body, we are damaging the temple He has given us. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I Corinthians 3:16, 17.
God takes it seriously when we defile His temple. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.
Obesity is a most malignant problem that goes beyond social stigma and even health. “The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59.
“He [the Lord] desires us to act understandingly, as wise generals in an army, as men who have perfect control over themselves.” Temperance, 119.
Let us learn to lose weight by perfect control of appetite and by doing this, gain control of the whole man, preparing us for our Saviour’s soon return.