imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Friday, February 25, 2005
THERE IS A GOD AFTER ALL!
French Women Do Too Get Fat
Today, thanks to globalization, the French are starting to eat, and look, more like us: According to a recent article in the Times of London, the traditional French meal is eaten by only 20 percent of the population. Instead, they increasingly favor the abbreviated, on-the-go meals of Americans. The national rate of obesity is rising fast. While only 6 percent of the population was obese in 1990, today the proportion is 11.3 percent. That is still well behind the same figure for the United States (22 percent) but on track to match our levels by 2020. The French are not happy about it. In a parliamentary report last spring highlighting the dramatic increase in obesity, legislators proposed launching a new government agency to fight weight gain, to be funded by a tax on high-calorie or high-fat foods.
It is another interesting paradox: The French ability to take pleasure in food, and to choose food based on taste rather than dietary dogma, begins with a child's lack of choice, and a degree of parental and state authoritarianism.