November 18, 2004

"fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong"

Pejman points to a fascinating article on the "French Paradox." Why don't the people who of all the world love food the most get fat?

Despite a diet stuffed with cream, butter, cheese and meat, just 10 per cent of French adults are obese, compared with our 22 per cent, and America's colossal 33 per cent. The French live longer too, and have lower death rates from coronary heart disease - in spite of those artery-clogging feasts of cholesterol and saturated fat. This curious observation, dubbed 'the French paradox', has baffled scientists for more than a decade. And it leaves us diet-obsessed Brits smarting...

There are various theories mentioned...this is just a sample...

...Dr Andrew Hill, senior lecturer in behavioural sciences at Leeds University, agrees. 'I suspect that the French paradox has something to do with our differing core attitudes to food and eating. French food is real food - prepared in the kitchen, with time taken to choose, buy and prepare meals. In other words, there's space for food in the daily routine.

Eating in France is a social activity. There are several but small courses, with plenty of time between courses for the physiological feedback to kick in. In England, we eat more pre-prepared foods and ready-meals; we eat fast food both in and outside the home. We have single, large meals, and family members will eat different foods at different times... Fast food is, by definition, eaten fast, so there's no time for that physiological feedback.'...
Posted by John Weidner at November 18, 2004 7:08 PM
Weblog by John Weidner