Kenneth F. Ferraro, author of similar studies linking obesity with religion, suggested that marriage may have played a role in the weight gain.Roissy would have asked questions about gender interaction terms; I won't. And as I haven't the study and can't find it on 15 seconds' looking, neither will I speculate as to causes of the effect; I know not what controls were included. I'd also worry about whether underlying variables might be associated with both churchgoing and obesity.
"The time period studied is when many Americans get married," said Ferraro, director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University. "We know that weight gain is common after marriage and that marriage is highly valued in most religious groups. Thus, one wonders if the results could be partially due to religious people being more likely to get married earlier and then gaining weight."
But none of that would stop me from strongly recommending that atheists be given an exemption from any future fat taxes.