Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Interesting article here about how the French manage to cram their diet with wine, cheese, and cream, and still stay slim. The obesity rate there is very small – only 11 percent of French citizens are obese compared to 22 percent of the UK and more than 33 percent of Americans.

I liked this observation:

"Researchers in the US once spent months looking into why the French remained so much slimmer than Americans. After intensive study, they came to a remarkable conclusion.

It was because the French ate less."

You can blame all kinds of things – the way people in the UK (and, I guess, the USA) eat on the move rather than taking their time, the way we eat too many convenience food rather than fresh produce, our addiction to fast food. And I know there are all those diet books and diet aids that often promise “Get slim – and eat as much as you like!”. The result is inevitable.

I hate diets. Most people I know who go on diets usually put weight on! – either during the diet or soon after they’ve come off it. And most people who diet go from diet to diet, in search for that elusive key to weight loss they think they’ll find there. But simply eating less must be the key ingredient.

The current obsession with celebrities – either their anorexic bodies, or the gleeful photos of any miniscule bulges in their waistlines – is a terrible thing, which does nothing but feed the greedy diet industry. It makes me want to devour six bags of chips a night just to spite them, but in my early forties, I’m at an age where I can no longer eat what I want (the way I used to) without putting weight on. I’m never going on a diet though.

One intriguing postscript from the article:

“Guess which country is home to McDonalds' most profitable franchise? Not the US, not Britain, but France - now due to reach US obesity levels by the year 2020.”


Sorlil said...

Heh - nothing like stating the obvious. Interesting series on modernist (or is it postmodernist?!) poets, I can't say I've ever got into the experimental style of poetry - Edwin Morgan is about as experiemental as I like.

Bill said...

I occasionally watch what I eat to manage my weight, but only as far as how much I eat. I almost never give much thought to what I eat. I'll be forty-two soon and for more than twenty years I've hovered between 150 and 160 pounds.

Since I gave up drinking in 1996, my eating habits have changed drastically, but my weight has remained the same. I eat tons of chocolate, and have an insatiable craving for sweets. I eat recklessly and carelessly, at any and all times of the day, and sometimes I won't eat for an entire day. I almost never sit down to eat. I eat on the fly, or in front of my computer.

I don't exercise and my job is not physically demanding, though it's not sedentary either. I haven't had a physical since I was nineteen, and I'm almost never in a doctor's office. Because of the sweet-tooth I get some occasional dental work, but nothing major.

I just don't care about food and don't think about it. I eat when I'm hungry, and I eat whatever's available. If I could just take a pill to sate my hunger and keep myself alive, I'd probably do it.

Well, alright, a chocolate pill.

Bill (155 and holding)

Rob Mackenzie said...

sorlil - Good to see another Scottish poet-blogger. I am a big fan of Morgan.
Reading these late modernist poets is sometimes a total bore, sometimes completely absorbing, but always an intersting challenge.

Bill - My weight didn't change for about 20 years as well, and I never had to worry about weight. But it went up slightly after I turned 40. Only very slightly, but enough to persuade me to cut back a little on chocolate, beer, and crisps. My weight has been static ever since, and life hasn't been less enjoyable, probably because I drink as much red wine and espresso coffee (the French and Italian secret, rather than eating snacks, is to down a 'meal' of strong coffee) as I ever did.

Cailleach said...

Ah that's the secret then ROb? Lots of coffee and red wine. Damn, I knew I was doing something wrong! ;¬)