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Don’t go on a diet, Baptists, wellness consultant says

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Despite the recent national publicity of a Purdue University study proclaiming Southern Baptists the most overweight of religious people, a national wellness consultant advised that “no one needs to go on a diet.”
Tommy Yessick, a LeaderCare consultant for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, instead preaches changing one’s diet.
LeaderCare is a personal development initiative that includes wellness resources for pastors, church staff and their families.
Approximately 95 percent of people who go on a diet and succeed in losing weight will regain the weight and add even more pounds than they had before the diet, Yessick said in a workshop during the July 11-17 Church Music Leadership Conference at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center.
“You are what you eat to some extent,” he said. “What you don’t eat may kill you, and some of what you do eat may kill you.”
Yessick pointed to the scriptural admonition in Philippians 3:19 which warns of the destructive result of making a god of one’s appetite, and 1 Corinthians 10:31, which encourages whatever one eats or drinks be done to the glory of God.
But before Baptists rush to clear their shelves of all their favorite calorie-laden foods, Yessick provided some encouragement: “You can eat some of what you want if you eat all of what you should.”
But back to the grim news. Yessick said Americans’ bodily temples “are in ruin. The United States is number one in cardiovascular disease. More than 300 people die from it each day.
“One in three people in the United States will be affected by cancer in their lifetime,” he said. “Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and 45 percent of nontraumatic amputations. Sixteen million Americans have hypertension. Inactivity and salt consumption, far above the quarter teaspoon each of us needs, leads to hypertension.”
Before allowing ourselves to have a modest portion of Aunt Mary’s “Chocolate Heart Attack,” our bodies need 45 essential nutrients, Yessick said, noting many of these needs can be met by small amounts. Others, like water, are needed in greater amounts. The essential nutrients, he said, are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, amino acids (9), vitamins (13), minerals (19) and water.
“The way God made vitamins is the best way to consume them,” Yessick maintained. “Nutrient-dense foods are much better than supplements.”
Yessick cautioned “zero-fat foods may have high sugar content,” misleading people to believe they can eat all they want of those foods.
And he said water is critical to every chemical body process. Water is needed for minerals, nutrients, lubrication, temperature regulation and growth promotion.
Yet most people do not consume the recommended eight glasses of water daily.
“Estimates are that 60 percent of Americans are on the verge of dehydration,” he said.
What Americans eat, per person per year, he said includes 150 pounds of sugar, 24 pounds of artificial sweetener, 67 pounds of added fat, 27 pounds of cheese and 51 gallons of soft drinks.
What we should eat, he said, is 55 to 65 percent of our diet from carbohydrates, 20 to 25 percent from fat and 15 percent from protein.
Citing 1 Corinthians: 6, he reminded participants, “it is a spiritual matter to take care of your temple.”
Church Music Leadership Conference was sponsored by the music ministries department of LifeWay Christian Resources.

A list of “10 Tips to Improve Your Diet” is posted in the SBCNet News Room under the filename Tips.txt.

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  • Charles Willis