From Too Many Chefs - www.toomanychefs.com

May 4, 2005
French women do get fat

Today's International Herald Tribune has a story on the front page on the rising rate of obesity in France. It seems that although the French are still well behind the United Stages and the United Kingdom in obesity, their rate has been increasing by some five percent each year. According to the article, the increase can be put down to the changes in traditional habits cited in the best-selling advice book "French Women Don't Get Fat". Parents are less likely to return home for lunch with their children and frozen foods are becoming more popular as people have increasingly little time for traditional markets. In addition, snacking between meals is increasingly easy as vending machines appear in metros and work places.

I found this interesting as it coincides with my own observations over the last 12 years in Paris. When I arrived there were no vending machines in the metro stations; now you can find them on most platforms, selling soda pop and candy. (It used to frustrate me when I was pregnant that I could never find anything nutritious in those machines!)

As for the frozen food issue, I was amazed when I worked as an au pair for a family in the suburbs when I found that they relied on weekly deliveries from the frozen food store, Picard. This family had a full size freezer to accommodate all the frozen convenience food. The IHT article postulates that as the French are not accustomed to using highly caloric convenience foods it means that they find it more difficult than Americans or Brits to control the spiralling weight problem. This was certainly true for the family in question as both the mother and her three-year-old daughter were decidedly plump. This was some time ago, so they were a bit ahead of the curve. But if the trend continues those of us who are a little chubby may find it easier to buy oversize stylish clothes in France.

The article ends with a chilling observation from Michael Mullen, European product manaer for Weight Watchers, "The market in France is growing and we believe it has an excellent future." Corporate America - from fast food chains to WW - is finding a silver lining in this particular cloud, it seems!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at May 4, 2005 3:27 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Well, heck!
Watching my favorite film, the Triplets of Bellville, the director is making an exceptional statement about the 'westernization' of France in it's depiction of the size of the society it mocks. It is also a very sincere and delightful sentiment of family. Give it a look.
Fat has no enemies, and many allies.
love to all,
Fred

Posted by Freddy Dodge on May 4, 2005 at 7:53 PM

I seem to remember reading about (or someone telling me about) France having a problem with obese children during the first part of the 20th century. As I recall, the government acted to change the way in which children ate and how families interacted. With those changes, the childrens' weights returned to normal. Hopefully, France will take some action to prevent the French from becoming as fat as the USA.

In the interim, I always tell my patients' families that soda is only for special occasions (so if they're not eating birthday cake, children should not be drinking a Coke). "Just say No!" to the pop machine. :)

PS Juice usually is just as bad for you as a soda.

Posted by Rebecca on May 7, 2005 at 10:45 AM

Rebecca, that's interesting - I'd love to see what policies they advised, whether it was eating lunch at home, etc.? That said, I expect two world wars on French soils probably did wonders in keeping those early 20th century waistlines small!

Posted by Meg in Paris on May 7, 2005 at 3:25 PM

However, sports items are necessary when we are doing sportsBecause most of our posts cover handbags, smaller accessories get left out from time to time For the humanized design, the kind of shoes can protect your feet from the distortion better and more safelyRunning is the thing that you need to do in a long time Nowadays, sports footwear had more changes comparing with the traditional goodsFashion items have paid importantly in our daily life Nike is a recognizable building is esteemed by all At the bottom of the outer panel is an accent to a minimum C a swirl of embroidery club

Posted by nike air max 2014 on July 11, 2014 at 3:45 AM

Even though there is a new model available, the Nike Air Max Torch 4 is still a great shoeSo my final analysis of the Nike Air Max Torch 4 is that you get a shoe that will definitely become a favorite of yours"In 1983 the Nike shoe company released a plain white sports shoe called the Nike Air Force One Being the first basketball shoes by Nike to make use of air technology, these shoes get their names from the airplane which is most generally used to fly the President of the United States from one place to anotherWhile buying the right golfing apparel for your body is important, buying the right golf equipment for your feet is also importantIt is no secret to those who love the Nike Air force One shoes that you can even design your own style of these shoes in many situationsPenny Hardaway was going to be a star

Posted by Nike Air Max 2014 on July 14, 2014 at 8:03 AM