Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
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.
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. 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.
Early Church leaders took a more expansive view of gluttony (Okholm 2000), arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods. Thomas Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of five ways to commit gluttony, including:
- Praepropere - eating too soon
- Laute - eating too expensively
- Nimis - eating too much
- Ardenter - eating too eagerly
- Studiose - eating too daintily
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