Drifting brought up some interesting points in Darrick's thread on Mormon women being fat.
I thought it was a different enough topic that I would start a new thread.
The explanation for the OP is fairly clear.
50% of Mormon women are permanently pregnant.
12.5% are depressed at not being pregnant and so they over eat.
12.5% are still carrying pregnancy weight.
12.5% are depressed at being less righteous than everyone else and so they over eat.
12.5% are depressed that they are inferior to men and so they over eat.
I am not going to get into statistics. I am just going to base my findings on other real Mormon women I associate with, and have spoken to regarding weight and depression.
As women, I think that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We are normally the nurturing center of the family. It is Mom the kids normally come to when they are sick or hurt. Mom is usually the first to hear when accomplishments happen as well. We are the built-in taxi service, on-call doctor/nurse, nutritionist, and, particularly in the current economy, often the breadwinner, or co-breadwinner, as well.
There are certainly rewards to being at the family's center, but the responsibilities are often overwhelming as well, from both an emotional and physical standpoint.
Add to this the pressure to, at least appear to be, the "perfect Mormon family", and you have depression just waiting to happen.
Before BC and some of the other TBM's jump down my throat regarding my last statement, let me explain it a little further. Any TBM women who disagree with what I am about to say, please, by all means, I welcome your comments.
Both in general talks/lessons, and, particularly in Relief Society lessons, women are taught that we are the "heart of the home". Women are the nurturers, and, as such, the teaching of spirituality to the children, rests squarely on our shoulders. We are also taught to be a strength and support to our husbands, and that his spiritual growth also relies heavily on our attitude, and willingness to serve. There is nothing innately wrong with any of these teachings.
However, it does
place the woman in a situation of being judged, not only on what she does, individually, but on what her husband and children do. This is what can be daunting.
Example....My son is autistic, but also ADHD. When he was younger, he often climbed on me during Sacrament Meeting. By the end of the meeting, I felt like I had been through a war!
Now that he is older, my iPad tends to keep him occupied so that he is quiet. However, I still get disapproving stares from other members who, I guess, feel that he should be sitting attentively, paying attention to the talks.
Compare that to the Nicholson family (name changed) with four little girls, sitting in the front row, matching dresses and matching bows in their hair...the younger ones quietly coloring in their "Book of Mormon" coloring book, while the older ones have their illustrated scriptures open.
In every ward, there is a Nicholson family..and in every ward, there is also a family like mine.
It is very easy, as a woman, to beat up on yourself, and chastise yourself for not measuring up to the Nicholsons.
I am in my 40's, and have long since decided that I can't worry about what others think. I can only guide my own ship.
However, it is not as easy for young mothers to do. And, all of the lessons on striving for perfection don't make that easier.
I can see how this can be a source for depression for well-meaning LDS women who are honestly trying to do everything right.
With depression, comes the temptation to self-medicate with food. Since we, as Latter-Day Saints, do try to follow the Word of Wisdom, a glass of wine in the evening to calm down a little is off-limits. However, a hot fudge sundae is not.
Mormons have traditionally used food to say "I love you" or "I care about you". Bringing cookies to families is common. There is the old joke, "How many Mormons does it take to replace a light bulb? 3. One to replace the light bulb. One to pray, and one to serve refreshments."
There is nothing wrong with cookies or sweets in moderation, but sugar addiction is just as real as an addiction to alcohol or nicotine, and sometimes even harder to overcome.
I would be interested in hearing additional thoughts on this from all sides.