It’s Official: French Women DO Get Fat!

November 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

frenchWomenFrance vs. America.

There’s always been a little bit of a competition going on between the two countries, right? We Americans think we’re better than our French counterparts, even going so far as to rename our beloved fried potatoes “Freedom Fries.” (Seriously, did anyone really use that term?). The French (stereotypically) view Americans as slovenly fat people who work too much and have bad taste in wine. And then, to really rub our noses into it, the book “French People Don’t Get Fat” was a best-seller, detailing how French women are oh-so-chic, eating small portions (slowly) of chocolate croissants, never snacking between meals, and never gaining a pound.

Well, France, sorry to say, you’ve fallen a rung on your Eiffel Tower.  A 2009 study published yesterday concluded that 15.1% of French women are clinically obese, and 26% more are overweight. Hmmm, very surprising indeed!

The Swedish researchers leading the study also published similar results found in French men, with 13.9% classified as obese and 38.5% as overweight.

So what can be attributed to  this weight gain over the last twelve years? According to French experts, the new type of sedentary lifestyle is to blame, including desk-type jobs, more public transportation (and less walking), and a greater availability of food. So, it seems that France and America are more similar than we thought.

 However, the French get a leg up on us by claiming that their obesity levels mirror that of the United States in the 70s, so they’re about 40 years behind us. (FYI, the latest study shows Americans as 31.1% of men obese vs 33.2% of women.) OK, France, you can have that. But you’re still getting fatter.

All joking aside, this is a BIG problem. And it’s not only France and America…China, Japan, Greece, and other European countries, once known as the epitomes of slenderness, are all experiencing weight gain. The Westernization of these countries is leading to obesity, leading to major health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Truly scary!

Entry filed under: nutrition. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Patti McCabe  |  November 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Wow what a great post, Amanda! I find myself often comparing different societies to help my clients, friends, family, etc understand some of the unique challenges in our country. But I agree that the Westernization of other countries is greatly contributing to our problems being migrated there and it’s very interesting (and quite sad) to see studies starting to back that up. Gonna share this one with folks for sure.


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