This week, Dateline reports from Nashville, Tennessee, on Weigh Down, a Christian weight loss program which attempts to replace people¹s worship of food with a stronger connection to Jesus.The message the company preaches is simple - give up food and lose weight by getting closer to God. Weigh Down¹s success has been helped by the fact that established churches have been happy to help a business which provides a service to parishioners while reinforcing a wider Christian message. Now its head, entrepreneur Gwen Shamblin, is being accused of heresy. Not only has she lost the blessing of some churches because she has started one of her own - the Remnant Fellowship - but her religious interpretations have alienated many churches. In a country where 55 percent of Americans are overweight and 22 percent are classified as obese, Weigh Down¹s approach has proved popular. The company will not supply details of its profits, or statistics on the effectiveness of its program, but its empire now includes 30,000 groups in America and claims followers in another 68 countries, including Australia. Find out why people `slim for Him` on Dateline, this Wednesday night (March 28, 2001) at 8.30pm.
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