Can God Stop You Eating Cookies?

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, undertaken by scientists at Canada’s University of Waterloo, if you really believe in God, He – or She – can help you lose weight in the form of temptation resistance.  The research – undertaken using word-game experiments amongst 353 students – found that simply by mentioning the word God or God-related words, dieters were able to benefit from the deity and His minions!  The study also found however that those students who felt in their hearts that they could count on God to help them get to their goal weight actually ended up not doing so well with this kind of vocabulary.

The Experiment

The study began with a word task ‘warm up’ in which participants were asked to form sentences from some God-related and other non-God related words.  In the next task they were given letters and had to form as many words as possible in five minutes; this was used to ‘measure’ their motivation.  Students were asked if they thought God would help them with their goals and those who thought He would perform worse if they had seen God-related words before the test.

Temptation Resistance

On the next set of experiments, participants had to see if they could resist temptation more once they had been reminded about God.  Those who said healthy eating was important to them consumed less cookies after reading a passage about God than those who read a passage that did not relate to God.