10 Reasons Why French Women Don’t Get Fat: Or Is It A Big Fat LIE!

Why French women don't get fat or is it a big fat lie

Maybe you’ve heard: French Women Don’t Get Fat! But is it true, and if so, how does this nation of cheese-eating, wine-drinking people stay relatively thin? Especially women?

Why French women don’t get fat?

I can go months before I spot an obese French woman.

On any given day, my husband Blake and I can take a walk to local French shops and Bistros and see middle-aged couples leisurely walking around.  Nothing really extraordinary except for the lack of flabby limbs and pudgy waists.

The same can be said for the younger French generation.

Is There Scientific Proof why French women don’t get fat?

The belief that French people don’t get fat is so strong and so widely believed that some scientists have studied this phenomenon to understand how a nation that eats more cheese and drinks more wine per capita than the average developed nation isn’t more overweight.

It’s “THE FRENCH PARADOX” and some scientists think the answer might be the cheese. 

The French Paradox is the contradiction between real world facts and scientific theory. 

There are also plethora of recipe and diet books based on the “FRENCH DIET.” and the “FRENCH WAY OF EATING”, like the popular book titled “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

French women don't get fat cookbook

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of French Women Don’t Get Fat offers a long-awaited collection of delicious, healthy recipes and advice on eating well without gaining weight.

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I’m no doctor but I think the answer isn’t in the French DNA but in the attitudes and habits the French have with regards to food.

This is just my subjective opinion.

I grew up eating Asian food thanks to my Asian side of the family, and I was surprised at just how much cheese French people eat. My Canadian side of the family definitely does not eat nearly as much cheese as we eat in France.

And portions really are larger in other western cultures. 

Are French people really not as fat as people in other countries?

I’ve always been skeptical about the belief that French women don’t get fat. 

To better understand where French women and men rank in the world in terms of obesity and being overweight let’s look at some actual data. 

List of the worlds most obese countries (report from 2007)

In 2007, Forbes magazine published an article ranking the world’s fattest countries; 198 countries in total were ranked.

The article published these numbers based on (WHO) the World Health Organization.  The report reflected the percentage of that country’s population over the age of 15 that was overweight.

BMI Fat vs Obese: what’s the difference?

The WHO’s definitions of “overweight” and “obese” are based on an individual’s body mass index (BMI), which measures weight relative to height. Overweight is marked by a BMI greater than or equal to 25, and obese is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

In the 2007 report, the United States was ranked 9th fattest nation out of 198. Yes, 9th.  74% of the American population is considered overweight (BMI > 25).

Compare that to France, ranked 128th fattest nation with 40% of the adult population overweight.

That’s a huge drop. 

Even more alarming is when you compare the ranking of Americans to Asian nations.  Thailand, China and Japan all with 30% or less of their populations overweight.  The Asian diet is another story, and I would love to talk about their food and culture, but today we are only looking at the French diet.

Here is apartial table listing some countries in order of fat rank. You can see the full list of 198 countries ranking by clicking here.

FAT Rank (# / 198) Country % Of PoP Overweight (BMI >25)
#9 United States 74%
#16 Greece 69%
#19 Mexico 68%
#21 Australia 67%
#28 United Kingdom 64%
#35 Canada 61%
#83 Spain 52%
#88 Brazil 51%
#128 France 40%
#144 Thailand 30%
#148 China 29%
#163 Japan 23%
#193 Ethiopia 6%

List of most obese countries (new 2021 report)

A more recent report put out in 2021 ranked 187 countries in order of total percentage the population which are obese: having a BMI > 30. (source)

Number one on the list was the Republic of Nauru formerly Pleasant Island, with obese people making up 61% of the population. 

The US is the 12th most obese country on the list with 36.2% considered obese, while Canada is 26th with 29.4% obese, and the UK is 36th with an obesity rate of 27.8%

Switzerland is the least obese European country in 111th place, with 19.5% of its population categorized as obese.

And finally France is (86th), with 21.6% of the population being obese. 

1 Nauru61 61%
11 French Polynesia 40.9%
16 United States 36.2%
26 Canada 29.4%
27 Australia 29%
29 Mexico 28.9%
36 United Kingdom 27.8%
81 Brazil 22.1%
86 France 21.6%
98 Netherlands 20.4%
111 Switzerland 19.5%
165 China 6.2%
182 Japan 2.3%

The French Secret To Staying Thin:

As you can see from the charts above, France as a nation isn’t nearly as thin as you might have thought but considering their diet of rich foods: cheese, bread, cream and sweet viennoiserie, you would think they would be a much fatter nation.

How do French women stay relatively thin, given their diet of rich foods?

If you’ve ever spent any length of time in France, then the answer to this question may be clear to you, but it must seem puzzling to everyone else. 

Grocery shopping selection

Let’s take a look at how the average person shops for groceries.

You can walk into any grocery store in the U.S. and Canada and be faced with aisle upon aisle of chips, soda pop, sugar-coated cereals and an abundance of other unhealthy processed snack foods.

Yes, these unhealthy choices exist in France, but Portion and selection are two noticeable differences.

Portion size:

Unhealthy snacks are sold in smaller servings that would probably make an American scoff and think they were getting ripped off. You don’t see huge bags of Doritos or Costco sized Coco puffs.


In France, the selection and the quantities of flab-inducing, stomach-bulging foods and snacks are minuscule compared to the aisles upon aisles dedicated to these types of food in the U.S. and Canada. A recent trip to the UK didn’t prove any better.

Instead of aisles dedicated to coke and pop and aisles dedicated to chips and another aisle dedicated to cookies, most French grocery stores dedicate less space to these types of unhealthy choices.

Portion size and availability of unhealthy snacks only scratches the surface as to “WHY FRENCH WOMEN DON’T GET FAT”

Here are 10 more reasons.

10 possible reasons Why French Women Don’t Get Fat.

Unfortunately, there is no magic to the French diet.

The answer to why there aren’t more fat French women in France has more to do with their habits and lifestyle because they certainly don’t eat a very lean diet.

Here are 10 simple French eating habits that anyone can incorporate into their life.  

1- Slow Down:

You’ve probably heard that you give your brain time to catch up to your stomach by eating more slowly. 

Well, the French eat very slowly. A single meal can last up to 2 hours mainly due to all the conversation in between bites.

They also put their fork down in between bites. Drink some wine in between bites and then talk some more in between bites.

My eldest son noticed the same thing at the French school he attends.

French children are not given a mere 45 minutes to eat but close to 2 hours to eat compared to the US, where they were given barely 40 minutes to eat their lunch. 

2- Eat Smaller Portions:

There is no supersize me in France and besides.

French restaurant portions are noticeably smaller.  Meat and fish portions would be considered tiny by American standards.

One easy way to cut your portion size is to use a smaller dinner plate and not go back for seconds.

3- Don’t snack:

The French eat up to 3 meals a day with a 4th optional apero hour before dinner.

Snacking is virtually unheard of in France. It’s just not commonplace.

4- Breakfast:

Breakfast is not like a typical American or English breakfast. There are no stacks of piping hot pancakes with a side of bacon and eggs.

It’s juice, maybe some bread or yogurt. Cereal exists in France and kids do eat it. 

And no, French people don’t eat croissants every morning.

It’s more of a weekend thing or one-off breakfast food option. 

5- Smaller selection of processed foods:

I already mentioned that walking down the food isles in the U.S.  and Canada is like walking down a cornucopia of packaged and processed fatty foods.

Sure there is processed food in France but I swear the packages seem minuscule compared to North America and even the UK.

This ties back in with French people eating smaller portions. 

6- More Fruits and vegetables:

One in four French people eat the recommended 5 daily portions of fruits and vegetables according to the French National Nutrition and Health Programme.

7- Be more active:

I find it amazing that the French stay so lean but don’t have gyms at every corner like there are in the US.

French women are more active.

More outdoor activities, more walking. This is good news for all you people who hate the gym. 

8- Drink red wine:

It’s true, the French really drink more wine. The numbers don’t lie, and neither do my eyes.

While dining out in France, virtually everyone seems to be shopping on a glass of wine.  

(wine is very inexpensive in France compared to elsewhere).

Wine is supposed to be good for weight loss or weight control because it contains resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in grape skins.

It’s not only great as an aid in weight loss but also overall good health.

Cheers, and you are welcome!

9- Eat yogourt and cheese:

In the U.S. and Canada, milk is almost forced down children’s throats, but in France, patents don’t give children milk to drink.  It’s also not served to school children, ever.

Instead, schools serve cheese or yogurt with every meal, and they are served water with lunch.

I’m not talking cheddar cheese either (many French people say it’s not “real cheese”). Instead, children are served rich cheeses such as Brie, camembert, compté, Tomme Noir, Emmental and a bunch of other cheeses that most Americans don’t even know exist.

As adults this eating habit continues and French women take teach after almost every meal. 

When I eat cheese after a light done, I feel satisfied and full.

10. French women hydrate with water:

The French hydrate with water and hydrate often.  I already mentioned that kids in France don’t drink milk..

Final Thoughts and the bad news.

If you were thinking about dieting to lose those last 10 pounds, give the French way of eating a try.

The best thing about the French way of eating is that it’s painless, and it’s yet another reason you would love to live in France. At least, I keep telling myself that.

Now for the bad news. The French population is getting fatter with each passing decade. 

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10 Reasons Why French Women Don’t Get Fat Or Is It A Big Fat LIE!

Photo of Annie André: www.AnnieAndre.com

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.


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  1. I stumbled on this post and found it interesting, especially coming from an American perspective (although you are living in France).

    As a 21-year-old French man, I’ll add my grain of salt:

    – A lot of mothers are really careful about feeding their children properly. I don’t know why that is. A wild guess is that France was a very rural country until the mid 20th century, so people were brought up eating fresh produce from the farm. I know that’s how my mum was brought up, and I was raised eating a lot of veggies, fish and meat.
    Nowadays, even if I live alone, I’m always putting a lot of care and consideration into what I feed myself; also, I just love veggies, fish and meat (either because I’ve been eating them all my life or because they’re naturally good, I don’t know, maybe both…)

    – Second, your point about French supermarkets is spot on. Snacks and sodas are indeed a bit hard to find. There is usually an aisle for cheap processed (canned) food, but the products really look unappealing. Personnally, I’d rather have a healty and good 4€/5€ meal than a 2€ unhealthy and untasty one.

    – Finally, and this may play on another French cliché, but we like to seduce the other sex (and thus be attractive). France being flanked by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, a lot of young French people spend their summers at the beach, and the only point of them going there (both for men and women), is to have a romantic adventure (or just a one night stand) with a boy/girl. That’s why a lot of people like to stay fit; I’d say more than 80% French children play some sports (Football, Tennis, Biking, Swimming, Horseriding, Basketball, Handball are all very popular), so when they reach young adulthood, doing sports has been hardwired into their habits, and plus, it gives them that athletic look you were talking about, so why stop now? (you’ll find that a lot of young French men have a fairly muscular body, even though compared to Americans, we don’t hit the gym nearly as much).

    Hope I’ve shed some light on this fun topic.

    1. Wow thank you for your input. I’m glad you agree. I really loved your take on why french people are so healthy and thin compared to other western nations. It’s especially interesting about the seduction part and the fact that 80 percent of children play sports from a young age..

      Thanks for you input, i’m glad that my assessment had some Merritt to it. It’s really interesting to get your take on this amazing phenomenon.

      1. Of course, there is probably no cause and effect for the seduction part (i.e. saying that French people are thin BECAUSE they like to seduce is a long shot).

        However, I just remembered watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution TV show, where he tries to revolutionize American school canteen food, and everything becomes so obvious now: in the US, a lot of school serve fried things and milk (which is a lot of fat)for lunch AND breakfast to their kids, with hardly any vegetables. I find it shocking and sad that any attempt to bring healthy food in American school is met with scorn, and rejected by food-industry-backed government agencies.

        On the contrary, in France, the regulation is VERY strong when it comes to food served in school. The Government imposed healthy meals all over the country 2 or 3 decades ago, and there is very little food served in the canteens that will make you fat. Usually, you go through a cafeteria line, where you’re served meat/fish + vegetable/pasta + yogurt/fruit… And kids really do eat the things they’re served, either because they were raised well by their parents (as I was), or because they’ve been told (and forced) ever since they were little to eat their veggies (I went through it ^^ in elementary school, there was this old lady that didn’t let you leave the table if you hadn’t eaten your greens).
        Moreover, I think there’s far more of a foodie culture in France (we’re famous for that!), and people (young or old) really enjoy a great variety of (healthy) food.

      2. What you mentioned, the school lunch program / Canteen here in france is amazing.

        I actually talk about it a lot. And you are right, schools in the US serve crap. At some of the schools, they have Mcdonalds on site at the school, or taco bell or dominioes pizza. And when parents complain they say that it’s because it is cheap. But what they don’t realize is that these kids are getting fatter and fatter.

        There aer some schools that are healthy in the U.S. In Berkley there is a very poor area that “Alice Waters” helped create. where the kids grow their own food and even cook their own healthy lunch programs. They were hopeing to set an example for the rest of the U.S. but i have yet to see any changes.

        Plus, Physical education used to be a big part of schools. But now it’s less and less and you have to pay a lot for after school sports which makes it unaffordable for kids .

        Having said that, i grew up around a strong Asian culture, my father spent over 10 years in Asia and i am half Thai. I can say that Asians have the same love and respect for food. Maybe even more so because Most asian countries are lower on the fat scale.

        Thanks for you input. love the conversation.

      3. You’re preaching to the choir. I lived in the Philippines (2 years) and Malaysia (5 years) between the age 10 and 17 years old, and I agree, Asian cuisine is one of the most healthy and extensive cuisine in the world. When I was in Southeast Asia, I seldom saw a fat person (of course, there was the odd McDonalds addict). Damn, I still miss the fresh fish and seafood. And nothing beats a strong Thai curry!

      4. Romain,
        I’m planning on writing up a post on the most healthy asian cuisine from around the world. All the Asian countries except the pacific islanders are by far much healthier diets. I am really interested in finding out about certain types of cancer and diseases in terms of are certain countries more prone to certain diseases due to their diet. I digress..

        But yes, rarely a fat Asian person i have seen and the ones i do see usually eat western food in abundance. I have only known one obese asian person in my entire life and she was actually born and raised American Asian so i’m not sure she counted. LOL..

  2. Annie,

    I need to correct you. Americans don’t “walk to the grocery store”. They drive there and park as close as possible to the entrance. When weather permits I ride my bike to the store and I get the funniest looks. Almost like they are thinking “why would she ride her bike, that takes too long and I have things to do like get back to my TV to watch Grey’s Anatomy.”

    Damn you, now I feel the need to get up. And then throw out the bag of Cheez-Its.


    1. i can only imagine the looks you got Allie.. I used to go the the grocery store right after the gym everyday. the one thing i miss is my daily gym visits. health clubs and work out clubs are not as prevalent as they were in California. i digress, now i have the mountains to hike facing the mediteranean sea. i should not complain.

  3. Hi Annie,
    I come from Europe, same applies to the whole Europe, not just France.
    There are only two reasons Europeans are slimmer:
    1. Better food (better quality, less quantity)
    2. More walking (less driving)
    Are you in France now?

  4. We suck! Talk about bad foods put in our face each and every day. Now I have to blame “us” because we all have a choice in what we put in our mouths, but to see the major differences and what’s “forced” in our face is amazing. This really made me look at the grocery store differently and how I need to change my approach to the foods I eat. Nice post Annie!

    1. Sonia,
      I agree with you, we all make our own choices about what we put in our mouths. It doesn’t help that the big companies use psychology and marketing to make us think that we need and want these horrible things that we put in our mouths. And they make us think that bigger is better. So many americans live under the mentality that if they get a litle bit rather than a lot that they are getting ripped off. This works fine for many things but not for serving sizes like McDonals Super size me.. I digress.. Thanks for your comment. Love the conversation.

  5. Hi Annie
    Really enjoyed this post and yes I have always been intrigued by this particularly since the French love their butter and cheese. I totally adored the pastries when I was there – so delicious.

    I think the little or no processed food, smaller portions and fresh fruit and veg would have a lot to do with staying lean.

    I noticed Australia is quite high up that list which is not a good thing. It’s interesting what Steve said about the French rate doubling, they will definitely have to watch that.
    Again thanks for such an interesting post.

    1. Thea,
      Personally i was shocked at how high many of the countries, Australia too, ranked for fat. In regards to Steves comment, I understand why the French population has been growing fatter. All those processed foods and a change in work mentality ( work more rest less, eat on the go) is infiltrating into the culture. Junk food is more accessible than it used to be but not as accessible as it is in the us. I have noticed we don’t buy anymore junk food. our cupboards used to be loaded with snack food “JUST IN CASE”. Now we just have fruits and veggies because that’s what they sell at the open market. Junk food is out of sight out of mind so it doesn’t get eaten as much. But if the French adopt the ways of other countries and start introducing more convenient food i fear the French obesity rate will soar to meet the levels of other countries. I hope that the french can stop the obesity rate and set an example for the rest of the world and for europe and stay a healthy and slim nation.

  6. You make a compelling argument here. I’m glad you used statistics and WHO reports to back up your points.

    France’s obesity rate has been increasing over the years. The obesity rate for the country doubled from 1995 to 2004 (although it’s still a pretty low rate). Admittedly, France has a better handle on it than many other countries, but it does seem to be a growing problem.

    It’s a complex issue with many factors to consider, but I think you made some great points. Your reasons do help explain the United State’s higher rate of obesity.

    Lower food portions and longer eating times would really help. It seems that the older I get, the shorter the lunch time seems to be. It encourages people to eat larger portions all at once in a short period of time instead of more slowly throughout the day.

    1. Hi Steve,
      you did your homework. Yes it is very true that france has doubled their obesity rate between 1994 and 2004. In fact i was reading that the French are aware of this and certain measures are being taken as a nation to ensure that this obesity problem doesnt’ become a problem. i am not sure what those measures are but i think they may be starting at the childrens schools. for instance, my children eat very healthy meals and very balanced meals. They have organic and local food served as part of their meal everyday too.

      I hope that Americans and CAnadians can fix this problem before they become a nation of overweight people. Take a look at the south pacific nations who’s obesity rate is closer to 100 percent. That is where they are headed. I digress

  7. This post just reminded me of a conversation I had with an American person the other day. I was telling him that my country is struggling with a 64% (or can be more than that now) overweight population and I told him that I believe the US is higher up in that list. He didn’t want to believe me. I’ve been struggling to lose weight for quite a while now. I’m not fat but I’m trying to be considered “slim” instead of ‘normal’. This blog article has lots of interesting tips, I definitely want to try a few. Thanks!

    1. Hello Sabrina,
      I am not surprised by your friends reaction. Many Americans are not aware of where they rank in terms of being a fat country.

      Thanks for stopping by

  8. I had these same observations in France too. My friends used to tease and say that I’m lucky to have 3 hour lunches. First off, we don’t take 3 hours lunches every day in france. Usu we were back at the desk by an hour and a half. But definitely, people in France enjoy their food and eat much slower!
    Noch Noch

  9. I had these same observations in France too. My friends used to tease and say that I’m lucky to have 3 hour lunches. First off, we don’t take 3 hours lunches every day in france. Usu we were back at the desk by an hour and a half. But definitely, people in France enjoy their food and eat much slower!
    Noch Noch

    1. Noch Noch, i think anything over an hour is just great. in the us it’s usually an hour lunch which means if you go out you only have 30 minutes to eat if you count in driving time or walking to the restaurant, then sitting down and ordering.

  10. I’ve always been fascinated with how the French (and many other Europeans) make meals into long, leisurely social occasions. No wolfing down a sandwich (or worse McDonalds) in the car for them! No, each and every meal is to be savored and enjoyed – the company just as much as the food. I really think this is one of the keys to their healthy weights (as you pointed out.)

    I remember with embarrassment when we had a 16-year-old French girl staying with us on a 3-week exchange program. The first day she sat at our kitchen counter and asked sweetly “When do we eat lunch?” I had to tell her that we all just fix a quick lunch whenever we feel like it and eat separately because we are so busy. (Luckily we did all sit down to dinner together – but we finish within a half hour usually.) Then my daughter went over to her place for 3 weeks – and what a different lunch experience. Sunday lunch lasted 3 hours! And they were all in super shape!

    Thanks for bringing up these great points.

    1. That story with the french girl made me laugh. In our house we’ve always considered ourselves slow eaters, and we sit down together for all three meals usually on the weekends but nothing like the french. I have to say though, that everyone has their bad habits. I am here in Montreal as i write this and my aunt has a french university student renting one of her house rooms out. Last night i walked in on her and she was licking the nutella off of her plate. she was embarassed to be caught of course, but it made me laugh and relax.

  11. “Walking along the streets of France, I rarely see or encounter a “FAT” French person. I say rarely because I do see some but I can go days even weeks before I spot someone overweight.”

    Yes I can certainly relate to that – we spend a lot of time in France and I very rarely see fat people there either.

    I won’t tell you if my (French) wife is fat or not – I’ll let you guess.

    Drinking Red Wind possibly loses even more weight than drinking red wine, but I get your point.

    Seriously I could talk to you for hours, weeks, years about this subject which fascinates me. It REALLY fascinates me. I love the way the French (my in-laws) eat. It’s a real life lesson – eat slowly, make it social, really appreciate the food – I agree totally with your 10 points above,

    really great post Annie, you had me at hello with this one!

    1. Oh Allen,
      you are embarrassing me. As you know i just spent 10 days in Montreal and i went out to eat at a few run of the mill restaurants and a few high end restaurants.

      I forgot how big the portions can be and quite literally my stomach hurt after a few of the meals.
      Can’t wait to get back home in france to get back to regular eating schedule… :)

      loved your comment. :)
      And red wind would be like drinking air wouldn’t it?

  12. I would think that they don’t have a lot of fast food joints there either. I think that’s fabulous that they don’t have all our junk food lining their isles when they head to the grocery store.

    I don’t buy any of that stuff anyway Annie because I’m the kind of person that if I have it in my house, I’ll eat it. So I just don’t buy it.

    I think if they grew up having learned these valuable lessons early on then they are darn lucky. Then again, we weren’t allowed a bunch of stuff which is why I guess we rebelled later in life. We want what we aren’t allowed to have right!

    Great post and thank you for all your research. I love that we are getting this up close and personal experience from you now young lady.

    Have a fabulous afternoon and the best weekend ever.


    1. Thank you Adrienne for stopping by and adding so much to this conversation.

      You made a good point about not having all that junk food in your house because you know you will eat it. You are so right and i think that’s why the french eat less junk food, it’s just not as prevalent in the stores so if you don’t see it you are less likely to eat it.

      And i know you don’t eat junk food because you are skinny as a twig and look to be in great shape. Kayla takes you for walks doesn’t she?

  13. What an awesome and well-researched post Annie!

    People are always hoping there is some secret or DNA reason why they are fat. It’s not hard to figure out.

    1. John,
      thanks it did take a bit to do the research but it was fascinating. I’m not sure about the whole dna thing. I used to believe maybe it was true, that there was some fat gene but now i’m not sure. Bottom line, you are right. just eat better and stop the fast food and packaged foods.

  14. I guess I’m fortunate Annie, I have a very high metabolism and early seem to put weight on.

    I was to be honest I lose weight when I don’t go to the gym so I guess I’m lucky.

    All the food items you list above are more or less on my list. I drink tons of water, and eat a lot of white meat.

    I do however fall off the food wagon from time to time and join the take away Mexican and Chinese guys!

    If you eat small and often with exercise then you are on a winning recipe for weight loss.

    Throw in some chocolate crepes, some red wine as a treat mmmmmm

    Thanks for sharing Annie.


    1. Daniel, either you are lucky with a good metabolism or you eat well or BOTH. I think you sound like a little bit of both.

      But Isn’t it strange though how a nation as a whole can be so high or low on the fat ranking.
      Crepes, chocolate, wine are three of my favorite things.
      There is no Mexican food around here and chinese food, forget about it… Few and far between around here. Lot’s of kebabs..

  15. Hi Annie,
    It is so true what you mention here!
    I lost a lot of kilos when I lived and worked in Paris. I started appreciating the lunch, the diner..even the apero time. In France, eating a meal is a respectful process with specific steps. They enjoy it, “savourer” or “profiter” you know?
    I am a big fan of the French Kitchen and of course the wine :)

    1. Lenia,
      the best part of being here is the really good food, i mean really good food is avaialable to the average person. It’s just common practice to eat well thought out dishes. Makes me hungry thinking about it.

  16. Those 10 things make such a huge difference – and it’s so much easier to follow them when the culture around you encourages it. When in the States, one needs self-control of steel (and some creativity) to make healthy choices when everything around you encourages you to do otherwise!

    1. Brasilicana,
      So so much easier i couldn’t agree with you more.
      I’m so glad that my kids are getting this exposure while in school. when we were living in the US it was hard to compete: home meals were healthy while at school the kids had pizza and burritos. After a while the kids start craving that junk. It’s like brainwashing the young kids into adult hood to want to eat crap.. I digress.

  17. Portion control and activity make a very significant difference. Eat less, exercise more.

    My kids have a lunch period of about 32 minutes. Hard to take your time with that.

    1. Jack, 32 minutes is so short. What i love about the schools here is that the kids eat real foo. I.e. things any parent would approve of. No pizza, no tacos or buritos. They enforce this idea that food should be enjoyed and you don’t need a lot of it.

  18. To be honest I am surprised the US is not ranked number 1. Living in San Diego, you don’t see a lot of obese people. You actually see a lot of healthy, active people. I think it’s certain areas of the country that don’t take care of their bodies and health. I have learned that I want to live in places where a healthy lifestyle is stressed. It’s very interesting to read the reasoning behind not being obese. I am always working on eating slower. I am a speed eater. Yikes!

    1. Meg, i thought the US would be number one too but the the South Pacific countries beat the Americans out but a little.
      I so agree that in the US it depends where you live. In the San Francisco Bay area where we used to live everyone seemed to be fit (mostly). I think places like LA and SF are the exception for the us. I’m not sure but i know my brother said he was shocked at the amount of over weight people in Georgia.

      Oh and eating slow is good. I’ve been practicing it and i have to say i do eat less and enjoy my food more because of it.
      Thanks for stopping by. i always love it when you do.

  19. My..looks like the French are living our lives when on diet! My friend visisted France a couple of times and she said the same thing – the French are a healthy lot. Looks like you did the assessment quite well! Very detailed!

    1. Hajra,
      The funny thing here is that the older folks are so fit and the French tend to appreciate older women more than say Americans do. It might have something to do with how fit the older people are here. I love it..

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