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How do Europeans stay thin?

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  • How do Europeans stay thin?

    I frequently travel to Europe on business, and it continually amazes me how thin everyone is despite eating wheat and sugar constantly-admittedly, the bread and pastries are great there, but why are people so much thinner than in the US? I am on a trip at a trade show and people are having cookies and croissants for breakfast, sandwiches that are mostly roll and cakes for lunch, and wash it down with sugar containing sodas and espresso with sugar. Ideas?

  • #2
    I'll help you out of that dream!!! The european waist is growing just as rapidly as the US. The only difference is that McDonalds and all those bad food providers got here later. Waist size wise the Europeans are where the US people were 10 years ago. So we look thin.
    I'm 15 pounds overweight but am still one of the smallest people in my home town!!!

    What we do different is that many europeans get more exercise. In other parts of the world, especially north America, everybody takes the cars for even small distances. Here we ride the bike to school or we walk. To work only those who need a car for appointments come by car, the others come by bike.
    Grocery shopping most do once a week by car, get the big stuff and get the smaller stuff by bike.

    We europeans tend to walk and bike a lot.
    My story, My thought....

    It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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    • #3
      Oh yeah, and portion size!!! There is a huge difference.
      I was in canada and the US last year. what is being served there food wise for one meal is usually enough for 3 days for me.

      and drinks, they kept refilling my 0,5 liter soda!!! I don't drink 1 liter of soda in a week!!! imagine all the sugar... (these days I only drink water)
      My story, My thought....

      It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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      • #4
        Things are changing for sure ... kids nowadays tend to eat US style. When I was a kid, the only soda drink I knew of was Orangina and I just disliked it. The French were eating two square meals (breakfast was often coffee only), took their time to eat and did not snack all day long on junk in-between. Lots of walking as well. Cities were designed from the middle-ages or even before that for many, so yes, walking was usually the best way to move around.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MarielleGO View Post
          I'll help you out of that dream!!! The european waist is growing just as rapidly as the US. The only difference is that McDonalds and all those bad food providers got here later. Waist size wise the Europeans are where the US people were 10 years ago. So we look thin.
          I'm 15 pounds overweight but am still one of the smallest people in my home town!!!

          What we do different is that many europeans get more exercise. In other parts of the world, especially north America, everybody takes the cars for even small distances. Here we ride the bike to school or we walk. To work only those who need a car for appointments come by car, the others come by bike.
          Grocery shopping most do once a week by car, get the big stuff and get the smaller stuff by bike.

          We europeans tend to walk and bike a lot.
          The bike part really only goes for our country and maybe denmark, where good cycling infrastructure is provided.

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          • #6
            Long fasting was popular when I was growing up (basically eat normally then a strict water fast for a week) and lots of aerobics for women. Walking , x-country skiing, swimming. When I was growing up, cars was not available for most people, so walking + public transit. Food was all home-cooked and limited in selection/poor quality. Sweets & home pickled anything was the only things that was consistently tasty. Most women though grew large anyway. Thin was associated with alcoholics and children of alcoholics.

            It seems the same as NA now, though cost of food is astronomical, so bread & milk products are prominent because they are cheap.
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            • #7
              Europeans are thin? Thinner maybe.
              Make America Great Again

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              • #8
                I'm not sure where you've been to see all these thin people - here in the UK there are plenty of lardy people about, and I've seen fat people in France, Germany, Italy etc etc. At the coast in Provence last September, there were people from all over Europe lying in the sun, an awful lot of them looking like beached whales!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by breadsauce View Post
                  At the coast in Provence last September, there were people from all over Europe lying in the sun, an awful lot of them looking like beached whales!
                  C'mon, they were all US tourists!

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                  • #10
                    I don't think it's exclusive to Europeans. We should analyze how all thin people stay that way. There are a multitude of methods, but I think most have one thing in common: Their caloric intake doesn't exceed their expenditure.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by j3nn View Post
                      I don't think it's exclusive to Europeans. We should analyze how all thin people stay that way. There are a multitude of methods, but I think most have one thing in common: Their caloric intake doesn't exceed their expenditure.
                      Another thing is that calories eaten in Europe are still to a large extent "traditional". Sure, processed industrial crap has been very successful during the last 20 years, but there still remains a significant fraction of the population eating "traditional" foods. The younger generations are mostly screwed up though ...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
                        Another thing is that calories eaten in Europe are still to a large extent "traditional". Sure, processed industrial crap has been very successful during the last 20 years, but there still remains a significant fraction of the population eating "traditional" foods. The younger generations are mostly screwed up though ...
                        Yes. Foods high in fat + carbs that are easy to acquire and easy to overeat and easy to assimilate are a recipe for easy weight gain.
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                        “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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                        • #13
                          From a UK perspective we (and quite a lot of europe) is well on the way to following the USA in the fatty race....

                          Some thoughts why we're not quite there:
                          1) portion sizes (as I think someone mentioned)
                          2) Cycling and walking is quite popular (and bah to the guy who said it was only in Denmark and Holland - we may not have the infrastructure but I'm sure cycling in the UK is probably bigger now than any time before and bigger than most places
                          3) We walk between places. E.g. If we go shopping we'll park in a central car park and walk around the various shops and/or to a restaurant - when I've been over in places like Erie in Pennsylvania for work it always amazes me how people drive from shop to shop. I got some funny looks walking from the hotel to the mall and back carrying shopping....
                          4) Possibly our crap food is slightly less bad for you than the USA crap food. E.g. our cheap meats probably aren't as full of antibiotics and growth hormone, our breakfasts aren't quite as rammed full of sugars, syrups and grains.

                          But yeah we're not far behind. I was up in Scotland for a conference recently and the lunches were all sandwiches so I went for a little walk around the university shops and restaurants to look for a salad - you should have seen the funny looks I got when I asked for one. Closest I came to getting one was the offer of "we could do you a baked potato with a topping?" .....
                          Actually the conference was funny - GSK had a stand there on one corner of it they were giving away free samples of lucosade sport and other things containing aspartame etc and on the other a video showing the drugs they made for treatment of various health problems (inc diabetes).... License to print money......

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                          • #14
                            I don't know. I've always parked in one place and walked from shop to shop where it's possible. If I lived in town, it would be a different story. Actually when I did live in town some 38 years ago, I did walk everywhere - mostly because I didn't have a driver's license, but also I was close enough to walk.

                            Now, where I live, the shopping centers are several miles apart and it's not safe to walk the roads anyway. I live off of U.S. 40 in Delaware, in a suburban area, and you're taking your life in your hands if you want to walk or bike anywhere along that road. Corners with crosswalks are limited, and most of the area doesn't have sidewalks, so you have to walk along the shoulder where people are driving 60+ mph; and start driving down the shoulder a good half mile before their turn. If we had fewer people driving humongous SUVs and more people riding and walking I'd be happy to do it too.

                            Oh, yeah, our public transportation is about useless, unless you live in Wilmington. It's take over an hour and multiple bus changes to get anywhere outside of the city.

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                            • #15
                              I travel to the UK about twice a year, and from what I notice, non-Americans walk places much more. Lots more pedestrians everywhere. In Florida, it's so rare, mostly because everything is at least a few miles away from wherever you probably are. I lose some weight each time I go overseas, and I certainly don't watch what I eat while there.

                              The food quality in UK is still better than in the states, in regards to meat, dairy, etc. Of course you can get the crap processed foods, but general default stuff is still higher quality.

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