Health experts think some LDS missionaries need to lose a little weight

Salt Lake City, USA - Local health experts say potential missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should shed a few pounds before heading to the mission field if they're extremely overweight.

Steven Aldana, CEO of Wellsteps, spends his life speaking about the problems of obesity. He says anyone obese, whether a missionary or not, is going to face health issues such as being sick more often. "The obesity problem reduces productivity across the board," he said.

Aldana says the problem gets even worse for those choosing to serve senior missions. "About the time seniors reach retirement age is exactly the same time at which chronic diseases manifest themselves the most," he said.

The Church declined to comment on whether they are keeping more missionary candidates home because of weight issues, but a spokesperson told us they have had a program for a long time now where severely overweight missionary candidates are encouraged to talk with their bishops about weight issues and guidelines relating to the body-mass index.

Aldana says increased health risks from obesity will affect anyone in any situation.