Derived from the Latin "gluttire", meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. In some Christian denominations, it is considered one of the seven deadly sins—a misplaced desire of food or its withholding from the needy. [web cite|author=Okholm, Dennis|url=|title=Rx for Gluttony|work=Christianity Today, Vol. 44, No. 10, September 4, 2000, p.62]

Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Gluttony is not a sin in some cultures. The relative affluence of the society can affect this view both ways. A wealthy group might take pride in the security of having enough food to eat to show it off, but it could also result in a moral backlash when confronted with the reality of those less fortunate.

Gluttony in Christianity

Early Church leaders (e.g., St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it also consists in an anticipation of meals, the eating of delicacies, and costly foods, seeking after sauces and seasonings, and eating too eagerly. [web cite|url=|title=Gluttony|work=Catholic Encyclopedia]

St. Gregory the Great, a doctor of the Church, described five ways by which one can commit sin of gluttony: [ [,we+may+become+guilty+of+the+sin+of+gluttony&lr=&as_brr=1#PPA268,M1 Shipley, Orby. A Theory About Sin, London (1875) pg. 268-278] ]
# Eating before the time of meal in order to satisfy the palate.
# Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste."
# Seeking after sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate.
# Exceeding the necessary amount of food.
# Taking food with too much eagerness, although eating the proper amount. :The fifth way is worse than all others, said the saint, because it shows attachment to pleasure most clearly among others.To recapitulate, St. Gregory the Great said that one may succumb to the sin of gluttony by:

# Time (when)
# Quality
# Stimulants
# Quantity
# Eagerness

St. Thomas Aquinas reiterated the list of six ways to commit gluttony:

*"Praepropere" – eating too soon.
*"Laute" – eating too expensively (washedly).
*"Nimis" – eating too much.
*"Ardenter" – eating too eagerly (burningly).
*"Studiose" – eating too daintily (keenly).
*"Forente" – eating too wildly (boringly).

St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the following when explaining gluttony:

"Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi has condemned the proposition which asserts that it is not a sin to eat or to drink from the sole motive of satisfying the palate. However, it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault." [ [,&as_brr=1 St. Alphonsus Liguori. The True Spouse of Jesus Christ. Trans. from Italian. Dublin (1835), pg. 282] ]

Gluttony in the Bible

* Proverbs 23:20-21 "Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags."
* Proverbs 28:7 "He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father."
* Proverbs 23:2 "Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."


See also

* Obesity
*Seven Deadly Sins
*Seven Heavenly Virtues (opposite of the deadly sins)

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