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Food and Faith in Christian Culture$
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Ken Albala and Trudy Eden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149976

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Divine Dieting

Divine Dieting

A Cultural Analysis of Christian Weight Loss Programs

(p.205) Chapter 10. Divine Dieting
Food and Faith in Christian Culture

Samantha Kwan

Christine Sheikh

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes Christian dieting practices. Like secular diets, Christian weight loss programs draw upon a simple equation for weight loss: weight loss is inevitable if one reduces caloric intake and maximizes caloric output. However, Christian weight loss programs are unique insofar as followers are told to turn to God for success. The Success with God mode of dieting claims that drawing on the Holy Spirit through prayer and devotion brings strength in times of temptation and weakness; God will provide followers with the discipline needed to lose weight. On the other hand, the Garden of Eden mode of dieting is characterized by a return to an “ancient” style of eating, resembling a raw foods vegan diet. Notably, Garden of Eden diet proponents maintain that their diets cure not only “obesity” but also an array of illnesses—from cancer to irritable bowel syndrome to depression and anxiety.

Keywords:   Christian dieting practices, Christian weight loss programs, Success with God diet, Garden of Eden diet, vegan diet

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