Why French Women Don’t Get Fat

pear & black currant tart

Real, live French women on why French women don’t get fat.

(via The Food Section)

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  • Vicky
    March 15, 2007 1:30am

    What a great link! And what a fun discussion! I did have to laugh at the discussion regarding the frequency of trips to the supermarket, and the different ways in which products are packaged. Having traded my family-size refrigerator for what a Canadian would consider a beer fridge, but not having downsized my family along with the fridge, I *do* have to do the shopping every day this year, because there is NOWHERE to put the food otherwise. So most days find me at my local Monoprix, and then swinging by my primeur, and the fromagerie. And weekends can be a daunting prospect: if I can’t squeeze in a trip to the marche Bastille, and actually have to figure out a way to buy food for two days and store it, I have to plan very, very carefully to make sure that there is not too much stuff requiring fridge space.

    I am actually fascinated by the success of Picard here (I find that there is a MUCH greater variety of frozen foods available in European countries than in Canada), because in all of my on-and-off years of living in Europe, I’ve never had a freezer big enough to hold more than about one package of ‘stuff’, plus a couple of trays of ice-cubes!

  • Judith in Umbria
    March 15, 2007 3:05am

    Vicky has the experience Europeans used to have– you shopped constantly because there was no place to keep things. Nowadays most people have bigger fridges and some have freezers and at least here in Italy, most use supermarkets. We do, however, keep the veg markets and the butchers alive, because who wants to eat only factory farmed stuff?
    Everybody doesn’t live inside a great city. In Italy from every city you can drive a few minutes and see country. The thing is, if you live in the country you can’t walk to buy your groceries everyday. So living in Paris you may go out to buy your daily bread, but living in Città di Castello outskirts, you’d be dragging out the car and helping to wreck the ecology.
    It was interesting that the French ladies seemed to focus on urban France and suburban USA.

  • john
    March 15, 2007 8:06am

    I read this link is giving a very funny, he thing is, if you live in the country you can’t walk to buy your groceries everyday. So living in Paris you may go out to buy your daily bread,o most days find me at my local Monoprix, and then swinging by my primeur, and the fromagerie. And weekends can be a daunting prospect:
    I have similar site……

  • Connie
    March 15, 2007 5:13pm

    One thing I miss from my childhood experiences is shopping at the local produce market, the butcher , the fish market and the neighborhood bakery! The food was of better quality and people actually knew that where their food came from ( yes pork chops come from hogs!)
    What I wouldn’t give for a real bakery, not some chain that bakes from frozen loafs.

  • Linda H
    March 15, 2007 8:24pm

    Very interesting.
    America is only a bad example for one writer, but a collection of desirable imaginary food traditions for another.
    Clotilde just looked for her baseball hot dogs, movie popcorn, Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, corn on the cob, chocolate chip cookies, etc. in the wrong place when she tried to find it all in California. It’s all alive and well in the middle of the country. (But it’s extra difficult to stay thin here.)

  • March 15, 2007 11:48pm

    David Thanks for the link! I have always taken FWDGF with a big grain of salt, but it did clue me into portion control and choosing the “good stuff” over the easy stuff here in the U.S.

    What I did find sad is that the French consider McDonalds American food. Yuck! You gals want a burger c’mon over and I’ll make you a REAL American Cheeseburger!

    Linda H is right about all that yummy food that Clotilde is pineing away for.
    It’s not in the big cities, it’s in the suburbs and small towns of America. A nice hot dog and an ICE and I mean ICE cold beer at the ball park… that my dears is worth the trip! Heaven on earth.
    But, all in moderation. Something that Americans are just getting clued into and teaching to our kids too I’m happy to say.

  • March 16, 2007 7:05am

    Having just returned from 6 days in Paris, I can only confirm that you can’t spend time there without exercising: the stairs in the metro seem endless.

  • Mario
    March 16, 2007 12:37pm

    What I want to know is: what happens when French women move to the U.S.? Do they gain weight? Do they find it hard to resist our Frankenfood? Or because food is such an integral part of French culture, do they reject our culinary habits and stick to what they know?
    Likewise, when an American moves to France, does she lose weight?
    When I studied abroad in Germany in 1988, I found it incredibly easy to save money because there was little opportunity to shop: stores opened half day on Saturday, were closed on Sunday, and remained closed on holidays. I wonder if similarly, it is more difficult to be able to eat at ANY time you desire in Europe as opposed to the U.S. …

  • Connie
    March 16, 2007 12:40pm

    Our parents and Grandparents that where raised during the depression kept telling us to clean our plates or that there where children in Africa that would love that food we where leaving on our plates. Now the American plate is way too big but we still try not to ‘waste food’.
    We don’t walk anywhere, many neighborhoods don’t even have sidewalks. So we do need to learn from or french brotheres and sisters. But please our food is not McDonalds.

  • March 16, 2007 2:34pm

    To Mario: I did gain weight after I came to the US, mostly because I could not walk anywhere (I live in the suburbs) and because there is temptation everywhere. I could not resiste cookies, pies, and had a really hard time accepting the idea of not finishing my plate. After a while, though, I got sick of some of the temptations and started going to nicer restaurants (and also less often), which means they served me with less food! Overall, when I speak with other French girls in the US, I find that the biggest challenge in the US is not the quality ot the taste of the food (American food can be really, really good!) but the size of the portions.

  • Henriette
    March 16, 2007 3:31pm

    I moved from France to America and actually lost weight! Go figure…
    Mainly because a lot of the food here that I really liked in France just taste different and doesn’t appeal that much to me. And I normally never manage to finish my plate because my stomach tells me enough is enough.But I have to admit that after 1 1/2 year here I still haven’t had a doughnut!;-)