When airlines are forced to increase the passenger weight allowance on their planes, you suspect America might be developing an obesity problem. When pastors find it difficult to baptize people because of their collective girth, it pretty much seals the deal. When one of those pastors happens to be Rick Warren, himself a fat man, you can expect something to change. Almost 4 years ago, Warren launched The Daniel Plan, aimed at helping some of his 20,000 or so weekly congregants lose weight. He was expecting 200 to participate, but 6,000 showed up; the number has since reached tens of thousands. Rick’s high public profile and passion for the cause was a huge factor, but the church also has an existing infrastructure teeming with a sense of community, feedback, support and accountability. Diet plans are notoriously short-lived, but tying one to the Christian faith, which has considerably more historical staying power, might not be a bad idea. Rick Warren is not soft-pedaling the Evangelical message one bit; his plan allows skeptics to participate buffet style, selecting plan entrées, both tangible and theological, according to their individual tastes.
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