God’s diets: The fat body and the bible as an eating guide in evangelical christianity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As much as some Christians may want to distance themselves from secularism, they find themselves immersed in a cultural environment that draws attention not only to their physical condition, but also to their body image. Particularly in the United States, where being “overweight” is often interpreted as a sign of lack of will and determination, an expression of psychological disorders, and a sure cause of health problems, Christians have been looking for viable solutions to their health and fitness conundrums while maintaining their religious identity and their practices. It seems only natural that they turn to the highest source of authority: God and his word, the Bible. In this paper I focus on the dieting plans and approaches that have developed using the Bible, and in particular the Hebrew Bible as their blueprint. Through a semiotic and discourse analysis of examples in print and on the Internet, I argue that very contemporary worries about the individual self are at the center of the immense popularity of faith-based diets in evangelical Christian, often U.S.-based, communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalFat Studies
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Bible
  • Body image
  • Communication
  • Dieting
  • Food
  • Media
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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