Originally Posted by DaisyEater
Longer work hours, shorter lunches, vending machines and an industry that needs to pack as many empty calories in you as possible. As I sit at my desk, two co-workers are ruffling into bags of something-or-rather.
Good list. I'd just modify one point and add one:
Originally Posted by activia
- High Stress - Go Go Go and constant INSECURITY
- lack of universal access to health care
Eat lots of fat, especially saturated fat, it's good for the heart and the waistline. Same as all the societies Weston Price studied. There's no paradox, it is consistent.
Originally Posted by maxshralp
As a Francophile who has spent a substantial amount of time in France (hence my username), I have to say that I think it's about time we stop idolizing the French way of life, because it is becoming extinct. It's been a few years now since I've started regularly spotting obese French people. As PPs have said, they are rapidly Americanizing. I was on a student exchange in university there in 2005-2006 and while you could get an individual-sized cheese platter and a glass of wine in the school cafeteria for lunch, most students preferred to get French fry sandwiches for their lunches. That's right. French fries. Inside a panini bun. The French are not immune to the same "scientific addiction" that multinational food companies use to hook consumers. They LOOOOOOVE McDonalds, as much as they like to pretend not to.
But certainly, in earlier generations, moderate amounts of wheat, lots of animal fat, lots of walking, smaller portions, the general food culture (and quality of it) and shorter work hours definitely worked in their favour. But much of this hasn't been the reality since les trente glorieuses ended.
Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-16-2013 at 04:57 PM.
True story - McDonalds is more popular in France than in the UK now apparently. I lived there for two years in the late 90's and you'd rarely see overweight people, they really had a handle on their quality food consumption and ate a lot of satiating food. I only ever saw bread eaten in small quantities - it sounds funny but the shape of the baguette really helps - its cut up into small round slices so you end up eating two or three small pieces and its way less than a whole bun or the amount that goes into making the average sandwich. Also french people focus more on lunch as the main meal of the day and take sometimes two hours out of their working day for lunch and then work later, so they end up eating quality food and not mindlessly shoveling crap into their mouths at a desk like we do in the UK.
Originally Posted by unchatenfrance
I have a friend from France who was horrified when she came to the UK and saw children eating chips and sweets on the bus, and the funny thing was, I realized at that moment that I never saw this in France because they just wouldn't do this. Mind you I was 20 at the time I was there and noticed that the french students didn't get drunk all the time in bars either ha ha, it was just the foreigners doing that as well, they even had a healthy and moderate approach to alcohol consumption, wish I could have said the same for myself at the time :-)
Oh yeah, that's another thing - the French don't get shitfaced at bars (especially females). I'm from Canada and had a few friends from the UK on my year abroad in France and that was an eye-opening experience to see how much Brits drink. I'm talking Roman orgy-style drinking. You drink, induce vomiting, drink some more. Often before going out to bars we would go out for dinner and these girls would deliberately choose to eat what seemed to be the least unpleasant thing coming back up (so nothing with tomato sauce, apparently). That's how premeditated these things were. I was positively aghast (and mind you, I had grown up with alcohol given my East European upbringing - I was always around it and it was never taboo, so it's not like I'm a prude. But these girls were something else.)
Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-16-2013 at 06:29 PM.
The French Paradox is fading into history, it was specifically the association of high saturated fat intake and lower rates of heart disease.
There was nothing in the French paradox that suggested superior overall health or Longevity, although there are a few areas where their disease rates are slightly better, they are rapidly catching up to the US.
So citing the French Paradox as support for consuming Gluten is no more ridiculous that saying eat snails once a week alongside your SAD and you will live to 100, it must be right because of the "French Paradox" and they eat snails.
I always figured it was because their "diet" was represented in what you get in restaurants.
In opposed to the American or English massive plate of crap with a side of crap, drizzled in crap with a nice drink of crap to wash it down, a French restaurant serving of crap is tiny - about palm or fist sized. Rabbit crap in comparison.
There are many different sorts of "restaurants" in France. Most people hardly ever or never eat in the expensive ones we think of as "French restaurants".
Yes the french tend either to be highly entertained, or disgusted by the boozy brits, depending on who it is, their student culture was just totally different, it was way harder to keep your place on the courses there. Since I've started this paleo thing I really want to go back there. I lived on a small farm there for three months which was a massive education for me in terms of appreciation of food produce, my hosts took me to all these friends and relatives farms and I saw examples of how everything was produced, I appreciate it more in hindsight than I did at the time.