Gluttony standards


Is it a sin of gluttony if one has a snack like popcorn, chips, etc. just to have a snack. They are not hungry but they also did not just eat so they are not full.
From what I understand, gluttony is a eating a disordered amount of food and letting food rule your life. However, some also say that it is when you eat for mere pleasure which is what someone would be doing if they have a snack or even a dessert.

Also, is it gluttony if at a holiday dinner or a special picnic/gathering, someone tries a little of everything or has a few servings of certain things and ends up feeling quite full? Not to the point of throwing up like the Romans but to definitely knowing that they should stop eating because they are, in fact, full. I know at holidays it’s a bit hard to not feel completely full because the food is richer and there is much more of it.


Nothing you described fits my definition of gluttony. Dining can be a pleasurable experience.

Moderation is the key. Don’t celebrate Thanksgiving 365 days per year, or have an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. Occasionally doing without and donating to a food bank is a nice thing to do.


That’s what I was thinking. Would you say moderation is something that depends on the case? Say if someone has two bowls of popcorn to enjoy and it doesn’t make them full or near full but it could make someone else full.

:slight_smile: Thank you for your reply.


It sounds like you are worrying about it to the point if scrupulosity. Having a second bowl of popcorn is fine, but you shouldn’t do it daily.

Eating until you are full is fine, but you should try to avoid overeating. A healthy diet should be the goal. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is appropriate to consider this when dining.

Do not obsess over food and eating. This can become an idol.

Some people do forms of fasting. I don’t. I do other things for God’s greater Glory. Fasting always needs to be discussed with a spiritual advisor.

If you eat like a normal person, you are probably avoiding gluttony.



Forgive the observation, but in my opinion, this strays dangerously near to scrupulosity. God made many good things for our enjoyment, and one of them is food. To attempt never to eat for pleasure would be like a married couple doing their ‘marital duty’ without an ounce of delight, grimly determined to NOT enjoy themselves. Eating to the point of illness is of course not to be borne, but a simple snack of popcorn because one likes the taste is not sinful, again in my opinion.


I think you are correct to take a look at daily behaviors and nip any problems in the bud. (Not saying that you have committed any sin of gluttony, however.) Here is what St Gregory says about gluttony (from Wikipedia):

St. Gregory the Great
Pope Gregory I (St. Gregory the Great), a doctor of the Church, described the following ways by which one can commit sin of gluttony, and corresponding biblical examples for each of them:[7][8][9]

  1. Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate.
    Biblical example: Jonathan eating a little honey, when his father Saul commanded no food to be taken before the evening.[1Sa 14:29] (Note that this text is only approximately illustrative, as in this account, Jonathan did not know he was eating too.)
  2. Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the “vile sense of taste.”
    Biblical example: When Israelites escaping from Egypt complained, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,” God rained fowls for them to eat but punished them 500 years later.[Num 11:4]
  3. Seeking to stimulate the palate with overly or elaborately prepared food (e.g. with luxurious sauces and seasonings).
    Biblical example: Two sons of Eli the high priest made the sacrificial meat to be cooked in one manner rather than another. They were met with death.[1Sa 4:11]
  4. Exceeding the necessary quantity of food.
    Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was “fullness of bread.”[Eze 16:49]
  5. Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.
    Biblical example: Esau selling his birthright for ordinary food of bread and pottage of lentils. His punishment was that of the “profane person . . . who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright,” : we learn that “he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully, with tears.” [Gen 25:30]
    The fifth way is worse than all others, said St. Gregory, because it shows attachment to pleasure most clearly. To recapitulate, St Gregory the Great said that one may succumb to the sin of gluttony by: 1. Time (when); 2. Quality; 3. Stimulants; 4. Quantity; 5. Eagerness. He asserts that the irregular desire is the sin, not the food: “For it is not the food, but the desire that is in fault”.[10]


To eat for mere pleasure is a venial sin. This does not mean that it is sinful to take pleasure in eating when there is a legitimate reason (such as hunger, or social custom).


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