Canadians who attend religious services — and there aren’t many — are healthier than their compatriots:
People who attend religious services regularly are less likely than others in this country to develop diabetes or high blood pressure, a new study suggests, adding a Canadian dimension to the growing but contentious body of research linking faith and good health.
The authors, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., theorize that Christian and other religious gatherings help stave off disease by offering a stress-reducing social-support network, frowning on risky behaviour like smoking and drinking and encouraging good diet and exercise.
‘It is the religious belief system that is driving people to care for one another and love one another’
They suggest that doctors take advantage of the findings by urging religious patients to tap into the health-promoting traditions of their faith.