Decades of research have identified a significant influence of dimensions of religious involvement on physical and mental health and general well-being. Efforts to understand the how and why of a religion-health connection have occupied sociologists, psychologists, and health scientists for many years. One of the most important ways by which religions influence health is by sanctioning or regulating the lifestyle behaviors known to increase or decrease, respectively, the risk of illness or morbidity—for example, smoking, drinking, drug use, diet, exercise, sexual behavior, preventive health practices. Congregationally based health behavior change programs can be instrumental in modifying these risks and thus influencing the health of people and populations.

Research on Religion and Health

Empirical research on religious factors influencing the health of people and populations dates back to ...

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