The headline this week read: “French paradox a diet myth.”
It turns out that French women (and men) are struggling with a steep rise in obesity rates.
I pause now to snort out a supersized American, “Hah!”
Let me repeat that: Hah!
It’s not that I’m happy that my
It’s just that I’ve been haunted over the years by too many well-meaning people who have cheerfully handed me that book: You know the one—French Women Don’t Get Fat.
Just eat like the French and you’ll be fat free, the book promises. Eat three meals a day, walk everywhere, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Oh, and drink lots of red wine, and don’t forget to indulge in your favorite foods every once in a while.
Hell, that’s what I thought I was doing! Okay, maybe I was over-overindulging in my fave foods (especially Chubby Hubby by B&J). But could the whole thing really be this simple?
Evidently not, at least if you measure by the recent results of the French population. Over time they have evidently become a lot more like us: eating meals on the run, consuming fast food—and getting fatter.
The average size of a real French woman, studies suggest, is likely to be on the surplus-side of size twelve (Okay, that’s still smaller than the average American’s size 14. But the point is, they’re catching up).
I hear the French government is fighting back by proposing anti-obesity measures and promoting public ad campaigns that exhort our Gallic guys and gals to take the stairs. We’ll see if it helps them return to the Land of the Annoyingly Thin.
But whatever happens to their waistlines over there, just don’t anyone write a book about it. And if you do, don’t hand it to me, okay? Je suis fini with French diets, but I'm keeping the french fries, thank you very much.
Kathryn Lilley is a writer and former journalist who lives in Southern California. She's currently