January 26, 2007

French women do get FAT!

We have been told that French women don't get fat, because they are so disciplined, and eat such small portions and such healthy food. You are told in the book, "French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure", that if you have a chocolate croissant for breakfast, have a vegetable-based lunch--or take an extra walk and pass on the bread basket at dinner.

They are just so civilized over there!

But, wait. Times they are a changin'. Maybe the French are just like you and me. They aren't disciplined. They don't eat healthy food. They don't eat small portions and excise regularly.

National Public Radio reported on Wednesday that obesity for French men, women and children has doubled over the past few years. That's right, it's doubled. It didn't go up by 25 or 50 percent, but by 200 percent.

What could cause a nation obsessed with food and dress sizes to suddenly start to expand? Restaurants!

Yes, restaurants. The French are now working more, and eating at home a lot less. They have lost the tradition of eating at least two meals en famille. As their beautiful home-cooked meals, have given way to snacks and fast foods, the evidence is now 40 percent of French women take a dress size bigger than a 14.

Despite a best selling book, there's nothing magical about French women's diets, or something magical about the Mediterranean genetics or the Japanese fish heritage. If you eat big portions of restaurant food, you are going to get obese. It took Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me") just 30 days to gain 25 pounds by eating exclusively at McDonald's. And 14 months to lose the weight.

Keep eating out, French women, the Supersizing of France has begun.

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