Talk Back: Religion and obesity in middle-age -- what’s up with that?

Prayer may nourish the soul but, by all accounts, is blissfully calorie-free. Thus it seems fairly clear that religious activities -- note we didn't say "church" activities -- don't actually cause obesity. And yet ... there does appear to be a connection between soul-enrichment as a young adult and obesity in middle age.

As the news release that sparked a spate of almost gleeful headlines, mocking comments and defensive rejoinders states: "Young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than are young adults with no religious involvement."

So what's going on? What accounts for the correlation?

RELATED: Pray it ain't so: Young religious adults may be more likely than nonreligious peers to become obese by middle age

Photo: Potato salad and other potluck fare could be the reason for a link between attendance at religious activities and obesity in middle age, some have theorized. That seems a bit, just a bit, simplistic. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times