The secret of the French revealed!
French people don’t get fat. Myth or fact? I do get that a lot, especially since I’m French. The truth is, it is not something we carry in our blood, but more about the eating habits. Traveling back and forth to New Jersey and having been back to France early this year, let me tell you about what I really think.
I think that the rumor was started by Americans, let me tell you why. It is a known fact that more than 50 percent of American population has overweight, and around 20 percent are obese. Ok, so this means that, for one out of two Americans, a person with a regular weight would look thin! What happens with French? Their percentage is as low as 10 percent… To sum up, 90 percent of the French population will look thin to at least half of the Americans. But, is it that French people are thin or that Americans have a problem with their eating habits?
Let’s take a look at restaurants, for example. In America you can find everywhere the typical “All you can eat” restaurant, where people will stuff themselves until they can hardly breathe. And they are family restaurants, so children grow up with this unhealthy eating habits. On the other hand, in France, restaurants are as small as possible, it seems that French have a way of using the most tiny space to make it a restaurant. I went for lunch with a friend in one of those little restaurants. But let me tell you, no obese people would have been able to go inside there. And just to be able to sit and not disturbed the person at the table next to ours, they had to completely pull out the table for me to go through and sit and I still manage to get my handbag in the face of the guy eating at the table next to ours!
But does the size of the place correlate to the amount of food being served? My boyfriend told me that he went once to a French restaurant and he hated it because it was so small and so expensive for what he got. Maybe they have smaller portions but they eat at least a 3-meal course! And at least twice a day! And don’t get me started on Christmas and family holidays! Back in France we could spend a whole day sitting at the table, we went for lunch to a relative’s house and I swear we sat at that table for at least 18 hrs straight lunch through dinner…
As for breakfast, French would just drink black coffee and a croissant on the train… But in America and Australia, they don’t seem to pay as much attention to lunch as they do in France. Lunch is sacred, even in weekdays! Employees will take a long break for having lunch outside, their companies even provide them with what they call “cheque restaurant” which I think encourages you to have lunch though you can use those cheques in most supermarkets.
Is it the quality of food being served, then? I know that French people drink lots of wine, and it is said that there is apparently an ingredient that would make them thin…
In the end, I don’t think the French have a secret; I think it is just their way of living. French eat and drink a lot but they take time to enjoy what they drink and eat. We could learn something from them, but I also believe that if you want to eat like them… well, you would have to live in France! Because the way they eat here, I can’t see it happening on the Sunshine Coast unless we totally change the Australian lifestyle or the American lifestyle….
French people don’t get fat, myth or fact, what do you think?