Yes, French Women( and Men) Do Get Fat

Yes, French Women (and Men) Do Get Fat

Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat

Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get FatDespite a famous weight-loss volume( and popular culture) claim the contrary, it turns out that French females do get fat after all.”>

PARISImagine France, and along with the montage of the clichd baguettes, berets, and rustic villages, one is likely to conjure images of the pin-thin French femme . Polished and perfectly-coiffed, she navigates cobblestone alleys in perilous stiletto heel before settling into a sidewalk bistro where she devours a plate of steak frites, washings it down with a carafe of wine, and finishes with a chocolate souffl and a cheese plate. The indulgent feast doesnt add an ounce to her lithe frame, and after paying the tab, this impeccably garmented ideal of slender femininity melts into a crowd of equally chic, metabolically gifted lovelies. Cue Edith Piafs Non, je ne regrette rien .

This image of the impossibly slender Frenchwoman is so permeating in the United States that a bungalow industry has mushroomed over the past decade or so based on the premise that to vanquish weight woes Americans need only take a cue from their Gallic counterparts. From Mireille Guilianos 2004 bestseller French Women Dont Get Fat to myriad blogs and media articles, the notion that French females are immune to the swelling waistlines that plague many of the rest of us has become ingrained in the public consciousness.

If my fellow Americans could adopt even a fraction of the French stance about food and life, weight would cease to be a terror, an obsession, and disclose its true nature as part of the art of living, Guiliano writes in French Women Dont Get Fat . The real reason French females dont get fat is not genetic, but cultural.

Except it turns out that they do get fat after all.

In late October, lInstitut de veille sanitaire released startling findings in its weekly epidemiological bulletin: In a study of 30,000 French subjects, nearly 41 percentage of French females over the age of 30 were found to be overweight or obese, while their male counterparts fared even worse at 56.8 percentage. In words of clinical obesity, the dames and gents were about equal, with about 15.6 percent of women classified as obese is comparable to 15.8 percentage of men. Basically, about half of the French adult population is now clinically overweight. So much for the so-called French paradox.

These figures show that obesity remains a major health problem, Sbastien Czernichow, a researcher and a prof of nutrition at the University Paris-Descartes told Le Monde .

Whats more, the French are not only get fatter, but the trend is expected to continue. A 2012 state-sponsored analyze by ObEpi-Roche found that the number of obese people in France had doubled in the past 15 years. And according to data from the Paris-based think tank Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development( OECD ), obesity rates in France are expected to jump by another 10 percentage over the next decade.

While obesity in France is less prevalent than in the United Statesnearly three quarters of American adults are overweight or obesefor a country long lauded for its svelte inhabitants the findings are nonetheless surprising. So what is going on?

Some pin the blame on globalization and the adoption of American eating habits, especially the rise of fast-food culture throughout Europe. France is McDonalds second-largest marketplace in the world with 1, 380 outlets countrywide and 4.46 billion in sales in 2013. Ads for KFC meals are plastered around Paris metro stations, and in my own neighborhood, a Subway sandwich joint competes for foot traffic alongside traditional boulangeries and coffeehouse. Peruse any French supermarket and youll find plenty of sugary snacks and pre-packaged goods stocked alongside traditional food items. Yes , la malbouffe ( French for junk food) has infiltrated one of the worlds gastronomic capitals, and so great is the concern over its impact on waistlines and billfolds that the government is considering a junk food tax to tackle the problem. According to the countrys treasury, obesity in France is costing the nation 20.4 billion a yearan economic impact, as The Local points out, that is similar to that of smoking and drinking alcohol.

However, the most recent analyze indicates that other factors are at play besides a nationwide proliferation of Big Macs and fried chicken. As in the United States, there is a correlation between obesity and socioeconomic status. That is, the highest the income, “the worlds largest” the likelihood of a smaller waistline. For instance, a quarter of those earning a salary of under 1,000 a month were obese, compared to only 1 in 10 of those whose salaries surpass 4,200. Furthermore, the OECD reports that less-educated French females are almost three times more likely to be overweight than more educated females, while poorly trained men are 1.6 times more likely to be overweight than trained men.

The causes are well known, Le Monde reported last week. First of all, the poorest communities have difficulty both accessing healthy food, which is generally more expensive, and accessing athletics facilities that promote physical activity.

Sound familiar?

The study also identified increased age as one of the biggest risk factors associated with obesity, is recommended that like many Americans, the French also struggle to shed pounds as they get older. The rate of obesity among French 60 -year-olds is double the rate among those aged 30, indicating that slowing midlife metabolisms have little bearing on which side of the Atlantic you live on.

Finally, regional factors also play a role in French obesity rates, which devote some validity to the myth of the slender Frenchwoman. she lives in Paris, that is. Obesity prevalence in the City of Light is at only 10.7 percentthe lowest in the country. The figure is say, especially is comparable to Frances north, where obesity rates top 25 percentage. A significant number of higher-income residents partially explains the inequality, as does the pedestrian-friendly aspect of the city. Long strolls to the local marketplace are a part of life. As is the fact that stairs are aplenty and elevators are scarce. Live at the top of a seven-floor walkup, and youre bound to get some daily exercise in regardless of whether or not you want to, and the citys cost-effective public motorcycle system further encourages physical activity.

So is the streamlined feminine silhouette of popular imagination a complete myth, then? Well, yes and no. Take a saunter through the most sought-after neighborhoods in central Paris on any devoted day, and its not uncommon to encounter the slender, stylish dames that Guiliano pays homage to in French Women Dont Get Fat . And while she could have opted for bluntness, its safe to assume that a volume called Wealthy Parisian Women Dont Get Fat would have sold less copies.

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Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat
Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat
Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat
Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat
Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat

Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat

Yes, French Women( And Men) Do Get Fat

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