What Ever Happened to Gluttony?

When I was a full time nutrition counselor, I remember a day when I saw two women who each gave me pause to consider. With both, the conversation was about when to stop eating after the start of a meal. The first woman, an English war bride, shared her granny’s advice: “Always leave room for one pancake.” (What? Wow! Brill…) The second woman, from Lebanon, said the Qur’an advises: “Eat with one third of your stomach and drink with one third and leave one third of your stomach to breathe so that you may think.” On a Hunger-Fullness level scale of 1 (empty) to 10 (stuffed), they were saying to stop eating at around 7.5 or 75 percent full.

Eat and Drink but Not to Excess

The Qur’an recommendations got me to thinking about religious rules pertaining to overeating. Not that I am promoting any one religion because I’m the “spiritual but not religious” type. Nor am I condemning those who binge-eat emotionally. God knows, they suffer. Rather, I don’t know why we’ve forgotten the long traditions warning us not to over eat. (7-Eleven Double Gulp at 50 ounces, I’m talking to you.) Let’s consider these words of admonition against gluttony:

  • “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit….” (Ephesians 5:18)
  • “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.” (Ephesians 5:18)
  • “Have the wisdom to show restraint.” (Proverbs 23:1-4)
  • “Eat and drink, but avoid excess…”  (Taha: 81)
  • Do not overeat, over drink or over indulge in sex. (Rules of Hinduism)

Your thoughts: There must be more. Share your religious truths about overeating.

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