12 Lessons About Eating We Can Learn From The French


By April McCarthy

The French diet is full of flavor and high in satisfaction. They don’t believe in low-fat, low-carb, low-taste, or low-calorie, but they do believe in enjoying their food, taking the time to eat at the table, knowing when to stop eating and educating their children about food. These are a just a few of the many lessons the French can teach us about a culture that truly thrives on savoring the flavor at mealtime.1. The French eat family meals together. No distractions. It’s a real bonding time where they get to talk discuss life. The French train their kids from the age of three to spend time eating at the table at lunch every day in school. They’re not inherently better behaved, but they’ve practiced for years. By the time you see an eight-year-old French kid in a restaurant they have sat at a table thousands of times. It’s just practice.

2. The French sit down and enjoy their meals.
Eating great food — no matter how simple or how elaborate — is one of life’s great pleasures. It’s rare to see people eating while walking or shopping in France. There are no cup holders on caddies, or even in most cars. You eat at the table, not in front of the TV or computer screen, then you leave the table and do something else. When eating at restaurants, the French are never asked by their servers “are you done with that?” because the meal is a pleasure, not a task.

3. They French don’t snack! They eat, but not all day long. It’s OK to feel hungry between meals.
The French don’t graze after dinner. That’s why when mealtimes roll around, they eat with real pleasure because they’re hungry. When the kitchen closes, it’s CLOSED and they have set mealtimes without cheating on the side. Portions are generous without going overboard. Although the French take in a lot of daily calories compared to most other countries (but nothing compared to yearly U.S. calorie intake), they don’t gain weight because of how they schedule their meals.

4. The French never say diet.
The French don’t get involved in the carbs versus protein debate, nor do they label food groups “bad.” They emphasize on eating a wide variety of foods without overdoing any one specific food group. Yo-yo dieting and extreme fluctuations in weight we see in America are completely absent in France. They are masters at stabilizing their metabolism. You’ll never see a French person on a restricted calorie diet to lose weight … it just doesn’t happen.

5. The French know their limit, then stop eating.
In France, you won’t find many all-you-can-eat feasts, such as buffets, tailgate parties and unlimited pasta and dessert bars, where it’s easy for the calories to add up quickly. The French realize that they will get to eat again in a few hours. They usually stop when they’re 80% full and don’t continue to gorge when they’re full if and when they ever get there.

6. Parents are in charge of food education, not schools!
This doesn’t just mean teaching your children to eat right. It means teaching them to appreciate and love food — all kinds of food. The French believe that teaching children to eat is just as important as, and just as time consuming as, teaching them to read. They have a long-term view. Kids eat what adults eat. No short-order cooking. There’s no mac & cheese special just for the boy. They also don’t get frustrated when there are bumps in the road. Some kids take longer to read than others, but they don’t give up and say “This kid is a picky eater, she just doesn’t like broccoli.” You don’t treat fear of foods as a personality trait, you treat it as a phase.

7. The French eat lighter at night.
Lunchtime is the main event. Dinner is usually light: soups, salads, an omelet, a simple pasta dish. Dessert might be a yogurt or fruit. And you sleep so much better.

8. The French don’t eat emotionally and restrict portion size.

You’re not going to see many French women on the couch crying with a bag of potato chips. They don’t emotionally attach themselves to food. The French diet is full of flavor and high in satisfaction. The women eat bread, chocolate, even rich sauces made from real butter and cream, yet they do not get fat. Pourquoi? Moderation. It’s all about portion control. They eat small portions of high-quality foods less often. Portion sizes in America are at least 40% or more than in France.

9. Eat your veggies. You don’t have to LIKE it, but you do have to TASTE it.
Even if children don’t like a specific food, the French are more neutral and will just shrug and say, “Oh well, you just haven’t tried it enough times.” However, they will still make them taste it. They learn to taste their food and guess the ingredients. They love to talk about their food. Discussing how something tastes, its ingredients and how it was made heightens awareness; children love to join the conversation. They learn about real food and where it comes from. Children get involved in cooking and preparation.

10. The French prefer water.
Generally speaking, the French do not drink their calories. At mealtimes, water (whether still or sparkling) is the drink of choice. Adults might opt for a glass or two of wine, but the glasses aren’t the size of fishbowls.

11. The French eat slowly.
Study after study shows that when you slow down and chew your food thoughtfully you eat less. But it also gives you the chance to be social and chat more, and the French have mastered this aspect within their dining experience. It takes an average of 15 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full, which means that eating slowly makes it more likely you’ll stop at a point where you’re “satisfied” as opposed to “stuffed.”

12. The French eat mostly real food. Quality not quantity. Treats are OK only for special occasions. By “real food” they mean whole foods and not processed foods. Not stuff from a box, can or a fast food joint. Of course the French will take pleasure in the occasional treat, but they usually do so in the company of another, on a special occasion or, if alone, with a good book or beautiful music. Again, it’s all about the experience.

Sources:
bonappetit.com
mindbodygreen.com
frenchwomendontgetfat.com

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

This article appeared here at Prevent Disease

RELATED:
The French School Lunch Program vs. The U.S.


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  • Couple of comments here. BTW, I am French.
    So, to begin with, sadly, many of us go for a low carb or low fat diet. They lose weight and obviously gain main weight back afterwards. But I am sure that it is far less widely spread than in the US.
    Besides this, at school, kids receive some recommendation on eating:
    1. "Don't eat too much fat, sugar and salt every day"
    2. "You should eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables every day"
    To add to that, vending machines with snacks and sodas are fully forbidden in schools. However, it could be found in a small shop very nearby.
    Again, it is all a matter of educating kids and setting the right behavior. Your article explains this well.

  • Oui, oui…There is overweight French people…But food is a pleasure and a social event for sure

  • Haha — "… but the glasses aren't the size of fishbowls." I'm appalled at the size of current wine glasses. "Oh, but it's for the boquet." Yeah right. It's a lot harder to tell 4 oz from 6 oz in those large glasses. For a hilarious take on this, watch Cloris Leachman in "Spanglish."

  • April,

    I haven't read French Women Don't Get Fat because I see too many fat French women in Paris to believe it.

    Some of what you say is true, but times are changing here, too. What you describe is how we ate when I was a child in the U.S. and how I fed my own children, who are in their 40's, until they were teenagers.

    We stopped eating that way when both parents went to work because, quite honestly, we were too tired when we got home or we didn't have time to prepare meals, as my mother did, so we opened cans and boxes and sometimes ordered a pizza or went to MacDonalds. I see this now with my sons and their wives, too. Only on weekends do they make meals from real food.

    I am an American who has been living in Paris for 9 years and I have wonderful French friends. I love living here. But, once I took off the rose colored glasses, I started to notice that reality and my image of the French were not the same. The French women don't dress any better than the Americans, etc. (another book) and not as well as the Italians, and heaven help us, a lot of them are fat, even among the young ones. True, not as many as in the U.S., but as their way of life changes, I imagine this will change, too. Chez MacDo, as they call MacDonalds, is always packed no matter where you go.

    And French people don't walk while eating because they would have to take the cigarette out of their mouth.

  • I think the main point here is, "The French Eat Mostly Real Food." Well, duh! If ANYONE on Earth would eat mostly real food, none of us would be overweight. I don't think it has anything to do with calories, low fat, low carb, less "treats," smaller portion size, etc. Real Food is what we were ALL meant to eat, not Fake Food. For example, Monsanto and their lab grown GMOs. It ain't food if it's grown in a damn petri dish. But most of the time, we have no idea if it's GMO or not. (& there's a good chance it is!) And unfortunately, this day in age is so fast paced and like Francesca said, both parents have to work and HELLO! mama is just too dang tired when dinner rolls around. In my house, I do fairly well for breakfast and lunches (my kids don't eat at school, I pack them) but hell, dinner? I don't give a you know what, as long as everyone is fed. I wish ALL of us could slow down and somehow bring back "the good ole days" but that just ain't gonna happen. No matter where you're from, most of us are doing the best we can with what we've got.

  • The problem in Europe is much less with the food as they have a different food philosophy. They shop more frequently in smaller amounts and definitely eat fresher less processed foods…the Europeans problem is almost all of them SMOKE!

  • Anonymous

    This is stereo-typing and racist.

  • !–We do eat snacks …the word for snack is collation..2– Although we do like to eat together as a family or with our friends… the rest of your article was pure fantasy.. 3— I rarely eat dessert, but all my friends and neighbours have dessert with lunch and supper…. 4– nutrition is taught in school under education physique 5– kids are usually fed the same food as their parents because of that their is no drama 6– I am fat , so I am already proof that your stereotype is inaccurate.. and my friends and neighbours would be more proof.. because they are bigger than me…. This is the problem when you pick-out a race and start labeling… you are always proved wrong… I agree with Anonymous …….this article is full of stereotypes of which not much is true and it is racist a it is full of stereotypes

  • Anonymous

    My gastroenterologist says that it is due to the French having a better selection of internal flora – friendly bacteria, continually reinforced by all those lovely rich cheeses and fermented foods, and that here, we kill off so much of our natural flora with antibiotics that we end up with nothing but superbugs in our guts that are much better at extracting pure energy (ie calories) from our foods. So the French paradox may be that they have a better functioning GI tract, in part because of an adventurous and varied diet – at least until it gets messed up in the same way as ours.

  • I am a single parent of two teens. I work two jobs and own a home. I am beyond busy. Yet, I grocery shop, garden, can, and prep food on weekends for the week ahead, and my kids help. I use a slow cooker a lot or pre-cook and freeze. Feeding yourself and your children crap because you are "too busy" is not a foregone conclusion. It is an excuse. You just plan ahead and do what is necessary. We don't eat junk in this household (except the occasional treat), and that is deliberate. I strongly dislike excuses 🙂

  • 4. The French never say diet.

    Not true – one of the best/controversial diets is created by french doctor, Ducan

  • The article and some comments are just IGNORANT.
    People in «France» don't diet?! Don't snack?! Don't eat junk food?! Don't get fat?!
    Where is that «France»?
    Most Europeans smoke?! WHAT?!
    Tracey, you're ignorant.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, Francesca. I am an American and have been living in France for nearly 5 years. The French do have a slower pace at mealtime, which is great. The local school children eat lunch in three courses over 90 minutes. The French have their main (heavier) meal at lunchtime. They eat vegetables in season. All good things. But to your point, I've long removed my rose-colored glasses. I'm definitely not seeing that American portion sizes are "at least 40% larger" than in France (or England for that matter).

    Still, if the ideals in this article inspire someone to eat better, then so be it.

  • This is complete useless bullshit. I've always lived in Paris and if you really want to know how does French people eat, you should talk directly to a French instead of reading this kind of shits. Of course there is some true facts but most of them are completely false.

  • Anonymous

    Francesca,

    I agree with you. I too am an American living in France (for nearly 5 years). The French do seem to eat at a slower pace; the local school children eat lunch in three courses over 90 minutes. The French do eat their main (heavy) meal at lunchtime and they enjoy vegetables in season. However, I too have removed my rose-colored glasses and see the reality of a changing world. I see many overweight French people. I see shopping carts loaded with junk food. I do not see evidence that American portions are 40% larger than in France (or England for that matter).

    Still, if anyone takes inspiration from the lovely ideals in this article then job well done. : )

  • Anonymous

    Generalizations always convince readers with an IQ above room temperature. I'm thinking about reversing this text into something about Americans, who are all overweight, never eat any real food etc. I want the time back I spent on reading this painfully less than amateur piece.

  • Anonymous

    Oops, I lost my first reply to Francesca, and in re-writing forgot some of what I had to say! I also see many overweight French people (dressed no better than Americans). I see shopping carts full of junk food. Weight Watcher meals are available at the grocery stores along with many other prepackaged full-calorie meals. And yes….French people are emotional eaters like the rest of us! This is the reality of a changing world…

  • i m french ..sometimes i snack . i dont diet .i like big dinners at night .i like very much wine ( rose is so good ) we are not the champions of dietetique .i dont like very much vegies i prefer a cote de boeuf .dont believe this article and eat what you like to eat !!! et vive le vin !

  • Anonymous

    They all aspire to have American refrigerators and no longer have the need to shop as frequently as they once did. That is less about philosophy as it is convenience.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed reading this article but I more enjoyed the truthful comments. I miss Europe, lived there in the 80's. No country is perfect but America has got to be the worst. I am disgusted by all the chemicals in our food and the crap we eat. It is a full time struggle just to find healthy (natural) food here.. even the apparantly healthy food is killing us with pesticides and hormones and other list of chemicals.

  • Anonymous

    Oui

  • An excellent book that covers this topic at length is "Bringing Up Bebe" by an American mom raising her kids in France. Starting in pre-school kids are served beautiful well-balanced meals cooked by genuine CHEFS! No "airplane" food for these kids, ever. Their whole approach to child reading is fascinating. I wish I could "do over" raising my son with these techniques, they were that profound.

  • I agree with this comment. I'm French too, raising kids in the UK. I pride myself of having to toddlers who LOVE broccoli, cucumber, salad, green beans, fish, smoked salmon, mussels, olives, boiled eggs, and who enjoy eating at the table with their parents and grandparents (although with theirs hands most of the time and leaving behind a heap of crumbs!). I did not even like anything remotely green when I was a child and had an absolute hatred of fish. I was very overweight too. I grew out of it all.

    However, the article makes broad statements about the fact that "the French" don't eat emotionally with a bag of crisps on the couch, or yoyo diet. This is incorrect! "The French" would probably be found eating a whole bar (200g) of Milka milk chocolate, or hiding in the kitchen, scoffing a sandwich made of saucisson, butter and baguette (the whole baguette of course) rinsed by a leftover of red wine from lunchtime to drown their sorrow… Suffice to say that we are not saints when it comes to food, and feel guilty about food as well as obsess about getting thin, keeping thin and criticising anyone who carries extra "dough" around the tummy as this would be seen as a lack of self-control.

  • I would think it's more likely that the French are eating a whole foods, non-GMO diet instead of the highly processed American diet, and that is why it works.

  • I agree. I'm a french student and the thing about eating lighter in the evening is completely wrong. Most of the time the only time the family is together is during this period, so we get a relatively big meal and enjoy it. Also, I know me and my friends eat a lot of snacks and we're often hungry. We eat really fast at the cantine, and we are rarely served big portion of veggies. And most of the girls in my school have tried to diet.

  • I know when I visit France – even though I feel like I’m eating more than usual – I lose weight.

  • I know when I visit France – even though I feel like I'm eating more than usual – I lose weight.

  • Elena Skok

    When we lived in France my young French babysitters avoided bread and other starches and certainly did watch their weight. The general quality of food is higher in France, I thought, and people did overall look for quality over quantity and don’t eat as much junk. As for the kids, its true, they sat them down at the table at lunch and fed them simply prepared, normal adult food.

  • Elena Skok

    When we lived in France my young French babysitters avoided bread and other starches and certainly did watch their weight. The general quality of food is higher in France, I thought, and people did overall look for quality over quantity and don't eat as much junk. As for the kids, its true, they sat them down at the table at lunch and fed them simply prepared, normal adult food.

  • coniljw

    The French are arrogant snobs!

  • coniljw

    The French are arrogant snobs!

  • coniljw

    NOt to worry, Michele Obama is trying her best to mandate/force ALL Americans to do as SHE says. While SHE eats high on the hog at all her fancy/high-priced dinners WE THE TAXpayers pay for. The “Let Them Eat Cake” first lady needs to leave people alone. Parents should be teaching their kids how/what to eat. THe democrats took recess OUT of our schools/won’t allow children to freely play anymore in many public schools.

  • coniljw

    NOt to worry, Michele Obama is trying her best to mandate/force ALL Americans to do as SHE says. While SHE eats high on the hog at all her fancy/high-priced dinners WE THE TAXpayers pay for. The "Let Them Eat Cake" first lady needs to leave people alone. Parents should be teaching their kids how/what to eat. THe democrats took recess OUT of our schools/won't allow children to freely play anymore in many public schools.

  • coniljw

    The French have voted for socialism & socialists. They are idiots & snobby ones at that. Egos/pride destroy people.

  • coniljw

    The French have voted for socialism & socialists. They are idiots & snobby ones at that. Egos/pride destroy people.

  • lerato

    one thing people seem to forget is that though we have all these preconceived ideas about the French poeple one thing is certain…French people walk a lot more. walk to the metro, stairs in the metro and walk to school, work or even to restaurants. so yes this article is really not accurate!! don’t forget the importance of walking! I lose more weight in France cause I’m not in my car from grocery shop to dinner table to couch!!!

  • lerato

    one thing people seem to forget is that though we have all these preconceived ideas about the French poeple one thing is certain…French people walk a lot more. walk to the metro, stairs in the metro and walk to school, work or even to restaurants. so yes this article is really not accurate!! don't forget the importance of walking! I lose more weight in France cause I'm not in my car from grocery shop to dinner table to couch!!!

  • scarlett

    are you sure what destroy people is not hatred and average jugements like “they re idiots and snobby” coniljw? and i don ‘t see how being socialist (or not because previously the opposite side was leading the country) affects the way of eating. this government is here since 2012 the way french eat exists for ages

  • scarlett

    are you sure what destroy people is not hatred and average jugements like "they re idiots and snobby" coniljw? and i don 't see how being socialist (or not because previously the opposite side was leading the country) affects the way of eating. this government is here since 2012 the way french eat exists for ages

  • Cheryl Hull

    Really stupid Comment about the first lady. You are correct that parents should be teaching their kids about foods but with all the processed foods that The average American is exposed and consumes it’s no wonder obesity is epidemic. In addition, the first lady does not make food policy in schools. Unfortunately, that’s left to the USDA AND Clearly That doesn’t reflect healthy food choices. We are a fat sick country because of our food choices. The first lady is simply encouraging Americans to make healthier food choices in order to minimize the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.

  • Cheryl Hull

    Really stupid Comment about the first lady. You are correct that parents should be teaching their kids about foods but with all the processed foods that The average American is exposed and consumes it's no wonder obesity is epidemic. In addition, the first lady does not make food policy in schools. Unfortunately, that's left to the USDA AND Clearly That doesn't reflect healthy food choices. We are a fat sick country because of our food choices. The first lady is simply encouraging Americans to make healthier food choices in order to minimize the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.

  • RLambertus

    I lived in France for about 2 years. Most of what’s written here is not true. But the french do have a very different eating culture, even compared to Dutch, German or the Spanish, with which I’m also familiar. You find more quality food and drinks and people seem to be genarally more critical in what they are served, but you can also find crappy food, and lot’s of Frenchmen eating it. I would agree that the French, on the whole, pay more attention to food, eating and cooking than many other cultures.

  • RLambertus

    I lived in France for about 2 years. Most of what's written here is not true. But the french do have a very different eating culture, even compared to Dutch, German or the Spanish, with which I'm also familiar. You find more quality food and drinks and people seem to be genarally more critical in what they are served, but you can also find crappy food, and lot's of Frenchmen eating it. I would agree that the French, on the whole, pay more attention to food, eating and cooking than many other cultures.

  • fastnet

    A simplistic and lake treatment of a comes issue. Did you sleep through Journalism 101?

  • Vanguard

    French is not a race.
    I do, however, agree with you about wrong stereotypes.

  • NOBs

    yes the french have voted for healthcare for everybody, one month vacation for every worker, paid sick leave and they enjoy healthy food , who are the idiots ?

  • NOBs

    yes the french have voted for healthcare for everybody, one month vacation for every worker, paid sick leave and they enjoy healthy food , who are the idiots ?

  • I am an American living in France for almost 20 years. I have seen the creeping trend of obesity here…Also the effect of American style supermarkets and discount stores. Interesting to note that the obesity is more of a social economic thing. You see this more in cities. I live in a very rural part of France and the trend here is away from the supermarkets….We have a lot of independent produce suppliers with new and innovative ways to market fresh locally grown food. I know from personal experience how the facts presented in this piece have affected my life and health. I am 65, 6 foot tall and haven’t gained a kilo in years. I weigh around 150 lbs. I love food, I love to eat and the secret is to have a good appetite when you sit down at the table! Bon Apetite, bien sur!

  • I am an American living in France for almost 20 years. I have seen the creeping trend of obesity here…Also the effect of American style supermarkets and discount stores. Interesting to note that the obesity is more of a social economic thing. You see this more in cities. I live in a very rural part of France and the trend here is away from the supermarkets….We have a lot of independent produce suppliers with new and innovative ways to market fresh locally grown food. I know from personal experience how the facts presented in this piece have affected my life and health. I am 65, 6 foot tall and haven't gained a kilo in years. I weigh around 150 lbs. I love food, I love to eat and the secret is to have a good appetite when you sit down at the table! Bon Apetite, bien sur!

  • I also would like to point out that one of the most successful corporations here is MacDonalds! You can’t get away from American marketing, the brainwashing of kids and peer pressure. I saw a billboard in Perigueux for MacDo promoting something called a MacTartiflette! Now, a tartiflette is wonderful thing. A sort of potato casserole with lardons, cream, white wine, onions and a very nice slightly stinky Savoyard cheese called a Reblochon….I love it and make it…but what the heck is a MacTartiflette? I don’t want to know!

  • I also would like to point out that one of the most successful corporations here is MacDonalds! You can't get away from American marketing, the brainwashing of kids and peer pressure. I saw a billboard in Perigueux for MacDo promoting something called a MacTartiflette! Now, a tartiflette is wonderful thing. A sort of potato casserole with lardons, cream, white wine, onions and a very nice slightly stinky Savoyard cheese called a Reblochon….I love it and make it…but what the heck is a MacTartiflette? I don't want to know!

  • AckerSt

    Having lived in France, some of the article is true, but much isn’t. All my friends watched what they ate. They didn’t eat the croissants, and other bready fatty things unless it was a special occasion. And as mentioned, they absolutely only ate real food (although this appears to be changing slowly). Schools are one of the primary educators on how to eat well in France. I was floored at the 4 course meals (appetizer, main, cheese, dessert) 3 yo’s were given, and taught how to eat. How often fresh fruit is the dessert is even regulated by the government. Their motto is that peer pressure works at young ages for good things. They used forks and knives, and laid cloth napkins on their laps. No child was exempt from eating the communal meal (and there were no alternates!) unless there was a doctor’s note detailing food allergies. One of my favorite books to give new parents is “French Kids Eat Everything”. That is a much more accurate portrayal of the French love affair with, prioritizing, and importance they place on food. No doubt, the point of the article was to emphasize that we have a lot to learn from the French. And indeed we do.

  • AckerSt

    Having lived in France, some of the article is true, but much isn't. All my friends watched what they ate. They didn't eat the croissants, and other bready fatty things unless it was a special occasion. And as mentioned, they absolutely only ate real food (although this appears to be changing slowly). Schools are one of the primary educators on how to eat well in France. I was floored at the 4 course meals (appetizer, main, cheese, dessert) 3 yo's were given, and taught how to eat. How often fresh fruit is the dessert is even regulated by the government. Their motto is that peer pressure works at young ages for good things. They used forks and knives, and laid cloth napkins on their laps. No child was exempt from eating the communal meal (and there were no alternates!) unless there was a doctor's note detailing food allergies. One of my favorite books to give new parents is "French Kids Eat Everything". That is a much more accurate portrayal of the French love affair with, prioritizing, and importance they place on food. No doubt, the point of the article was to emphasize that we have a lot to learn from the French. And indeed we do.

  • Me

    This is so ridiculous…and oh so stereotypical! Ok, so class lets review….all french people know when they are full and never over-eat for comfort. Right and all mexicans drive beat up cars and all black people love dem sum watermelon! my god who actually buys into this bs?

  • Me

    This is so ridiculous…and oh so stereotypical! Ok, so class lets review….all french people know when they are full and never over-eat for comfort. Right and all mexicans drive beat up cars and all black people love dem sum watermelon! my god who actually buys into this bs?

  • Northcountry

    Not true. Moochelle’s war on childhood obesity is tied to federal funding so if the schools accept money from the government, they must follow her guidelines.

    .

  • Northcountry

    Not true. Moochelle's war on childhood obesity is tied to federal funding so if the schools accept money from the government, they must follow her guidelines.

    .

  • poppy52

    the french government doesn’t allow chemfood

  • poppy52

    the french government doesn't allow chemfood

  • nolbombol

    It’s a 16° arrondissement article. Come to rural France: fat kids, women bulging out of leggings, parents who work all hours out in the vines while their kids slob out in front of TV with coke and crisps.

    Pick your stereotype…..

  • nolbombol

    It's a 16° arrondissement article. Come to rural France: fat kids, women bulging out of leggings, parents who work all hours out in the vines while their kids slob out in front of TV with coke and crisps.

    Pick your stereotype…..

  • nolbombol

    Have just moved out to the sticks from Bordeaux. I agree and disagree. There is a wealth of homegrown/locally produced food here – stunning produce that costs a fortune to buy in the cities but is easily affordable here (free for many if it comes from a veggie garden, or swopped with a neighbour, that’s the whole point) but there seem to be far more obese children here than in town, there are low-cost/low quality supermarkets springing up all over the place and two Macdonalds have opened recently…..

  • nolbombol

    Have just moved out to the sticks from Bordeaux. I agree and disagree. There is a wealth of homegrown/locally produced food here – stunning produce that costs a fortune to buy in the cities but is easily affordable here (free for many if it comes from a veggie garden, or swopped with a neighbour, that's the whole point) but there seem to be far more obese children here than in town, there are low-cost/low quality supermarkets springing up all over the place and two Macdonalds have opened recently…..

  • BS Article

    The word buffet is French you fuckwit

  • BS Article

    The word buffet is French you fuckwit

  • ajbosslady

    You should check into the First Lady’s spending habits, and how much of our tax dollars have been spent on her and the Presidents elaborate dinners and vacations. I believe that is what coniljw was trying to convey…

  • ajbosslady

    You should check into the First Lady's spending habits, and how much of our tax dollars have been spent on her and the Presidents elaborate dinners and vacations. I believe that is what coniljw was trying to convey…

  • french guy

    As a french, I really felt hurt reading this comment, but it’s not a big deal, I’m gonna have my feelings checked by my physcian for free thanks to the social security.

    Also the “Parti Socialiste” isn’t close to what you americans call socialist, France is not the Soviet Russia, actually they are liberals that think that the state should help the poorer part of the society to improve equality. But this is only in the speeches they make during elections, as they are actually trying to dismantle the welfare state because ” it’s the crisis, we can’t afford it anymore”, which is exactly what our right wing says. The real difference is that the Parti Socialiste avoids making racist comments in public.

  • french guy

    As a french, I really felt hurt reading this comment, but it's not a big deal, I'm gonna have my feelings checked by my physcian for free thanks to the social security.

    Also the "Parti Socialiste" isn't close to what you americans call socialist, France is not the Soviet Russia, actually they are liberals that think that the state should help the poorer part of the society to improve equality. But this is only in the speeches they make during elections, as they are actually trying to dismantle the welfare state because " it's the crisis, we can't afford it anymore", which is exactly what our right wing says. The real difference is that the Parti Socialiste avoids making racist comments in public.

  • sam

    Most of this article is not true at all…especially about diets…that is a word I hear often here “regime”.

  • sam

    Most of this article is not true at all…especially about diets…that is a word I hear often here "regime".

  • Jay_Sherman

    That’s true even here in America- that you see fat people in cities. I live in a very rural area. When I go to the larger shopping town to run errands and shop, I can always tell who lives in that town vs. who just came there from the country to shop- the townspeople are the fat ones. More so with men than women. Out here in the country, you almost never see a fat man. This leads me to believe that a lot of the obesity problem is due to inactivity.

    Another thing: Almost all “poor” people in America are America are obese. This is the opposite of the way it should be, isn’t it? Truth is, thanks to entitlement programs, like Food Stamps, these fat bastards can buy all the junk food that they want- and that is exactly what they do.

    I’ve NEVER seen a Food Stamp user with a cart full of veggies, fruit and staple items. I see their carts filled with expensive convenience foods and junk food. A gigantic lard-butt woman on the check-out line in front of me a few weeks ago, had STACKS of frozen pizzas. I needn’t tell you how she paid…..

  • Jay_Sherman

    That's true even here in America- that you see fat people in cities. I live in a very rural area. When I go to the larger shopping town to run errands and shop, I can always tell who lives in that town vs. who just came there from the country to shop- the townspeople are the fat ones. More so with men than women. Out here in the country, you almost never see a fat man. This leads me to believe that a lot of the obesity problem is due to inactivity.

    Another thing: Almost all "poor" people in America are America are obese. This is the opposite of the way it should be, isn't it? Truth is, thanks to entitlement programs, like Food Stamps, these fat bastards can buy all the junk food that they want- and that is exactly what they do.

    I've NEVER seen a Food Stamp user with a cart full of veggies, fruit and staple items. I see their carts filled with expensive convenience foods and junk food. A gigantic lard-butt woman on the check-out line in front of me a few weeks ago, had STACKS of frozen pizzas. I needn't tell you how she paid…..

  • Jay_Sherman

    The article misses a lot of other traits about the Frogs, which could also be contributing factors; such as the wearing of berets; and not bathing.

  • Jay_Sherman

    The article misses a lot of other traits about the Frogs, which could also be contributing factors; such as the wearing of berets; and not bathing.

  • Neal Kernohan

    You’re maybe only seeing ‘race’ as colour. Race is also defined as a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group. French is certainly a race, as is Irish, Italian, Spanish, and many others.

  • Neal Kernohan

    You're maybe only seeing 'race' as colour. Race is also defined as a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group. French is certainly a race, as is Irish, Italian, Spanish, and many others.

  • Vanguard

    Hello, Neal. I believe you are confusing race with ethnicity.

    http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race

  • Vanguard

    Hello, Neal. I believe you are confusing race with ethnicity.

    http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race

  • jillian

    True. Very true.

  • Jay_Sherman

    People of different races are easily identifiable by genetic physical traits. You can look at a knee-grow’s corpse, and tell what race he belonged to (even if the skin is gone; even if it’s just a skeleton) easily. Same with an Asian or American Injun, etc.

    On the other hand, you take a dead Frog; a dead Eye-talian and a dead Limey, and all the medical examiner can tell you is that they are Caucasian- they are all of the same race- He will not be able to tell you which is from France, Italy or Britain.

  • Jay_Sherman

    People of different races are easily identifiable by genetic physical traits. You can look at a knee-grow's corpse, and tell what race he belonged to (even if the skin is gone; even if it's just a skeleton) easily. Same with an Asian or American Injun, etc.

    On the other hand, you take a dead Frog; a dead Eye-talian and a dead Limey, and all the medical examiner can tell you is that they are Caucasian- they are all of the same race- He will not be able to tell you which is from France, Italy or Britain.

  • Lucky

    I have lived in France for years now and I must say that not exactly as described here. It’s true about scheduled meals and taking time at the table (afterall eating is socializing) but the rest sounds more like call for ideal habits. And of course ppl talk about dieting. Who doesn’t?

  • Lucky

    I have lived in France for years now and I must say that not exactly as described here. It's true about scheduled meals and taking time at the table (afterall eating is socializing) but the rest sounds more like call for ideal habits. And of course ppl talk about dieting. Who doesn't?

  • llg

    Seriously?????? Almost all “poor” people are fat??? How ignorant are you?? Yes i agree that most times someone on food stamps are buying nothing but convenience & junk foods. The government definitely needs to control that by limiting what you can/can’t buy with food stamps. With that said to make a statement such as “almost all poor people are fat” is beyond ignorant. Instead of knocking these people down why not educate them on the importance of a balanced diet!!

  • llg

    Seriously?????? Almost all "poor" people are fat??? How ignorant are you?? Yes i agree that most times someone on food stamps are buying nothing but convenience & junk foods. The government definitely needs to control that by limiting what you can/can't buy with food stamps. With that said to make a statement such as "almost all poor people are fat" is beyond ignorant. Instead of knocking these people down why not educate them on the importance of a balanced diet!!

  • Jay_Sherman

    Educate them? LOL! You mean they don’t know that living on pizza, soda and donuts and being sedentary is why they look more like elephants than humans; and why their 10 year-old kid weighs 185 lbs.?!

    Did YOU ever consider that such people do not possess the moral fortitude to do that which is propitious? If they did, they likely wouldn’t be on the dole in the first place and/or have 6 kids and 14 year-old pregnant daughter; and be living in a filthy roach-infested house!

    Yet, they are smart enough to take advantage of all the entitlements and various charity programs; to have and operate smart-phones and computers and video game systems; and to procure cigarettes and drugs and booze (But I suppose if we “educated” them, they’d cut that out- they probably just don’t know that smoking and getting high/drunk is not good for them, right?).

    It’s obvious that YOU have never worked around/lived around such people. They do what feels good; take the path of least resistance. That is why they are what they are. YOU are the one who needs some educating- in the real world.

  • Jay_Sherman

    Educate them? LOL! You mean they don't know that living on pizza, soda and donuts and being sedentary is why they look more like elephants than humans; and why their 10 year-old kid weighs 185 lbs.?!

    Did YOU ever consider that such people do not possess the moral fortitude to do that which is propitious? If they did, they likely wouldn't be on the dole in the first place and/or have 6 kids and 14 year-old pregnant daughter; and be living in a filthy roach-infested house!

    Yet, they are smart enough to take advantage of all the entitlements and various charity programs; to have and operate smart-phones and computers and video game systems; and to procure cigarettes and drugs and booze (But I suppose if we "educated" them, they'd cut that out- they probably just don't know that smoking and getting high/drunk is not good for them, right?).

    It's obvious that YOU have never worked around/lived around such people. They do what feels good; take the path of least resistance. That is why they are what they are. YOU are the one who needs some educating- in the real world.

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  • Vesavius

    It might be bullshit (with regards to a given country), but how is it ‘useless’? As an ideal it has value and is worth striving for, surely?

  • Vesavius

    It might be bullshit (with regards to a given country), but how is it 'useless'? As an ideal it has value and is worth striving for, surely?

  • Sharonacles

    Just because someone is paying with food stamps doesn’t mean they don’t work. I’ve known people who worked full time and even overtime, but still didn’t make enough to survive & support their family.

    Furthermore, it’s not just poor people that reach for junk food. They’re called “convenience foods” for a reason and a lot of people who do work hard are exhausted at the end of the day and just want to eat something quick and easy. THAT is why so many Americans are fat. Junk food is quick, easy and cheap. And most Americans work hard for very little money and their lives are filled with stress and very little leisure time. So get down off your high horse. Not everyone is taking advantage of the system. It’s more like the system is taking advantage of most poor people by using them for cheap labor w/ little or no benefits and just enough to scrape by on without any hope of digging themselves out of the hole they’re in no matter how hard they work.

    And still most people, as shitty as their lives are, would still be decent, kind people and spend what little time they have with their family. So show some respect and human decency.

  • Sharonacles

    Just because someone is paying with food stamps doesn't mean they don't work. I've known people who worked full time and even overtime, but still didn't make enough to survive & support their family.

    Furthermore, it's not just poor people that reach for junk food. They're called "convenience foods" for a reason and a lot of people who do work hard are exhausted at the end of the day and just want to eat something quick and easy. THAT is why so many Americans are day. Junk food is quick, easy and cheap. And most Americans work hard for very little money and their lives are filled with stress and very little leisure time. So get down off your high horse. Not everyone is taking advantage of the system. It's more like the system is taking advantage of most poor people by using them for cheap labor w/ little or no benefits and just enough to scrape by on without any hope of digging themselves out of the hole they're in no matter how hard they work.

    And still most people, as shitty as their lives are, would still be decent, kind people and spend what little time they have with their family. So show some respect and human decency.

  • Jay_Sherman

    In a country where people walk across the border and come to work, without so much as a driver’s license or being able to speak English- and yet manage to not only support themselves, but to also send money back to their country, and eventually prosper- all without the benefit of welfare services and entitlements, please don’t tell me that someone who works “needs” food stamps, because it is pure BS!

    I make very little money myself- a good deal less than some relatives of mine who work and are on food stamps- and yet I live just fine; have ample savings, and eat well- because unlike them, I don’t buy everything on credit (I save-up till I can afford to pay cash); I take care of what I have; and live within my means- while they buy late-model cars on credit, and destroy them before they’re paid-off; have a smart phone for every member of the family (including the 8 year-old)- but can’t manage to pay their mortgage; and keep their house at near 90* in the winter, so the kids can walk around half naked.

    People are on food-stamps because the government, which redistributes our wealth, says they can be. The same reason they have housing projects in Manhattan- so the “poor” can live amongst the most expensive real estate in the world. The only reason anyone is “poor” in a welfare state, is because they refuse to live within their means.

    My immigrant grandfather raised 7 kids during the Great Depression, working as a cab driver, with no food stamps or medicaid or subsidized housing- and he would have pissed on these slobs who can’t seem to make it with 1 or 2 kids; a steady job; and $60K worth of free entitlements a year- but yet they manage to have smart phones; a big-screen TV; cable; computers; internet; acrylic nails; salon hair; video games….

    Disgusting! And the reason so many food stamp recipients are fat is because they are lazy slobs! (I KNOW most Americans are fat today because of all the convenience foods- but I was trying to point-out the absurdity of “the poor” being obese. If they lived within their means, and didn’t get food stamps, maybe then they’d be forced to buy real food, instead of expensive convenience food, and might actually start to assume the proportions of a human again!)

  • Jay_Sherman

    In a country where people walk across the border and come to work, without so much as a driver's license or being able to speak English- and yet manage to not only support themselves, but to also send money back to their country, and eventually prosper- all without the benefit of welfare services and entitlements, please don't tell me that someone who works "needs" food stamps, because it is pure BS!

    I make very little money myself- a good deal less than some relatives of mine who work and are on food stamps- and yet I live just fine; have ample savings, and eat well- because unlike them, I don't buy everything on credit (I save-up till I can afford to pay cash); I take care of what I have; and live within my means- while they buy late-model cars on credit, and destroy them before they're paid-off; have a smart phone for every member of the family (including the 8 year-old)- but can't manage to pay their mortgage; and keep their house at near 90* in the winter, so the kids can walk around half naked.

    People are on food-stamps because the government, which redistributes our wealth, says they can be. The same reason they have housing projects in Manhattan- so the "poor" can live amongst the most expensive real estate in the world. The only reason anyone is "poor" in a welfare state, is because they refuse to live within their means.

    My immigrant grandfather raised 7 kids during the Great Depression, working as a cab driver, with no food stamps or medicaid or subsidized housing- and he would have pissed on these slobs who can't seem to make it with 1 or 2 kids; a steady job; and $60K worth of free entitlements a year- but yet they manage to have smart phones; a big-screen TV; cable; computers; internet; acrylic nails; salon hair; video games….

    Disgusting! And the reason so many food stamp recipients are fat is because they are lazy slobs! (I KNOW most Americans are fat today because of all the convenience foods- but I was trying to point-out the absurdity of "the poor" being obese. If they lived within their means, and didn't get food stamps, maybe then they'd be forced to buy real food, instead of expensive convenience food, and might actually start to assume the proportions of a human again!)

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  • LiveWell

    It’s true that people in lower income areas have a higher risk of obesity and the complications that follow. Any simple research will show that. It is more about their access to a balanced diet and fitness regimens; education simply is not enough.

  • LiveWell

    It's true that people in lower income areas have a higher risk of obesity and the complications that follow. Any simple research will show that. It is more about their access to a balanced diet and fitness regimens; education simply is not enough.

  • siloé

    I think you need to do more research ,there is no race between humans and it as been prooved the physical differences in mophologies exist because humans can adapt very quickly to the place they are livin on the planet . So dont be misguided by the too much used Race’s term , because between humans is simply doesn’t exist and this is a scientific XXI century’s fact.

  • siloé

    I think you need to do more research ,there is no race between humans and it as been prooved the physical differences in mophologies exist because humans can adapt very quickly to the place they are livin on the planet . So dont be misguided by the too much used Race's term , because between humans is simply doesn't exist and this is a scientific XXI century's fact.

  • Kat

    While this information may not all be correct I find it a good goal many more people around the world should work torwards. As far as food stamps go I was once a single mom with my son’s father being a dead beat. I worked and cooked food from scratch as much as I could afford to do so. Sadly at lunch I could only afford my self 2 peices of bread with peanut butter and jelly along with one piece of fruit. This was my lunch every single day at work. Sadly there are a lot of people out there in the world that work the system and don’t eat healthy. I would be happy if our system made it to where people on food stamps couldn’t buy junk food such as Potatoe chips and soda. Then maybe America could become a healthier nation and we wouldn’t have so many diabetics and over weight unhappy people.

  • Kat

    While this information may not all be correct I find it a good goal many more people around the world should work torwards. As far as food stamps go I was once a single mom with my son's father being a dead beat. I worked and cooked food from scratch as much as I could afford to do so. Sadly at lunch I could only afford my self 2 peices of bread with peanut butter and jelly along with one piece of fruit. This was my lunch every single day at work. Sadly there are a lot of people out there in the world that work the system and don't eat healthy. I would be happy if our system made it to where people on food stamps couldn't buy junk food such as Potatoe chips and soda. Then maybe America could become a healthier nation and we wouldn't have so many diabetics and over weight unhappy people.

  • Holly

    If they planned meals abd spent their time wisely, they would be able to cook almost daily

  • Holly

    If they planned meals abd spent their time wisely, they would be able to cook almost daily

  • TheLight

    The word you are looking for is Nationality, not race. Race is defined by the gene pool that your people come from. Caucasian is a race. Negroid is a race. Mongoloid is a race. French, German, British, Spanish, Belgian, etc are all nationalities.

  • TheLight

    The word you are looking for is Nationality, not race. Race is defined by the gene pool that your people come from. Caucasian is a race. Negroid is a race. Mongoloid is a race. French, German, British, Spanish, Belgian, etc are all nationalities.

  • TheLight

    Human is a species, not a race. There is such a thing as races in the same way that there are different breeds of dogs and cats. Genetic stock determines the breed of the animal and it also determines the race of humans.

  • TheLight

    Human is a species, not a race. There is such a thing as races in the same way that there are different breeds of dogs and cats. Genetic stock determines the breed of the animal and it also determines the race of humans.

  • Alise

    Actually, Mongoloid is an older term for a person with Down’s Syndrome.

  • Alise

    Actually, Mongoloid is an older term for a person with Down's Syndrome.

  • Nicole

    I have worked since I was 14(20 years ago) I was head of household at the age of 16 bc my mother was disabled after a surgery went wrong thankfully she recovered but not at a cost she still has a disability but she continues to have a job but is limited and she gets food stamps. how is her working and getting food stamps wrong. When she didn’t ask for what had happened to her make her limited to pay.

    I am still working I do not have a high paying job and I collect very little food stamps if at the end if the day I have ten dollars in cash and ten dollars on food stamps I am going to use the food stamp money to buy my daughters food for dinner bc my eldest had worn a hole through her last pair of sneakers and she needs the ten dollars to buy a pair of shoes for school So please again how is this wrong when my hard earn tax dollars since I was 14 are paying for the food programs this country has I am not abusing the system like so many are I am simply asking for a little help when I feel I have earned it. Do I think I can go back to school get a better job absolutely am I lazy for not doing that no I am simply raising my children doing everything for them working hard for them when it’s time for me it will happen I do not agree with you when u say if you work you should not be on food stamps there are situations where some need it but like I said there are lots of people out there who do abuse the system and that is what’s so corrupt with the assistance program should there be limits yes I agree with you on that. However everyone who receives food stamps are not obese I am not my children are not the very little I recieve I will not waste on junk some treats as in homemade pie etc is fine not everyone abuses the systems

    I just wanted to give my story and opinion that there are circumstances that allow someone to work and recieve food stamps. While my husband the father of my beautiful three daughters was here we did not recieve food stamps nor had I looked down upon people who I knew had reasons to use food stamps there are lazy people in our country
    I believe Natural Health wrote this artical to give a little hint as to how corrupt the food assistance program can be but also to bring more awareness to obesity that continues to grow more and more every year in our country even though 75 percent of the writing is fabricated

  • Nicole

    I have worked since I was 14(20 years ago) I was head of household at the age of 16 bc my mother was disabled after a surgery went wrong thankfully she recovered but not at a cost she still has a disability but she continues to have a job but is limited and she gets food stamps. how is her working and getting food stamps wrong. When she didn't ask for what had happened to her make her limited to pay.

    I am still working I do not have a high paying job and I collect very little food stamps if at the end if the day I have ten dollars in cash and ten dollars on food stamps I am going to use the food stamp money to buy my daughters food for dinner bc my eldest had worn a hole through her last pair of sneakers and she needs the ten dollars to buy a pair of shoes for school So please again how is this wrong when my hard earn tax dollars since I was 14 are paying for the food programs this country has I am not abusing the system like so many are I am simply asking for a little help when I feel I have earned it. Do I think I can go back to school get a better job absolutely am I lazy for not doing that no I am simply raising my children doing everything for them working hard for them when it's time for me it will happen I do not agree with you when u say if you work you should not be on food stamps there are situations where some need it but like I said there are lots of people out there who do abuse the system and that is what's so corrupt with the assistance program should there be limits yes I agree with you on that. However everyone who receives food stamps are not obese I am not my children are not the very little I recieve I will not waste on junk some treats as in homemade pie etc is fine not everyone abuses the systems

    I just wanted to give my story and opinion that there are circumstances that allow someone to work and recieve food stamps. While my husband the father of my beautiful three daughters was here we did not recieve food stamps nor had I looked down upon people who I knew had reasons to use food stamps there are lazy people in our country
    I believe Natural Health wrote this artical to give a little hint as to how corrupt the food assistance program can be but also to bring more awareness to obesity that continues to grow more and more every year in our country even though 75 percent of the writing is fabricated

  • Manmartre

    After 27 years in France, working for several years as Maitre ‘D in a luxury brasserie, I can tell you that the table manners of the french are Atrocious. Chewing with their mouth wide open, holding their cutlery in clenched fists like Neanderthals, talking with their mouths full, eating off of other people plates without asking, a certain rudeness in restaurants and incapacity to turn off their cell phones while eating dinner, often times filling the face with one hand and phone in the other, eating like pigs, spreading food, wine and bread crumbs all over the table then wiping their mouth with the table cloth when they have an expensive linen napkin. I am a mix of english nobility and Mayflower families, but even the homeless American’s have better manners than most french.

  • Manmartre

    After 27 years in France, working for several years as Maitre 'D in a luxury brasserie, I can tell you that the table manners of the french are Atrocious. Chewing with their mouth wide open, holding their cutlery in clenched fists like Neanderthals, talking with their mouths full, eating off of other people plates without asking, a certain rudeness in restaurants and incapacity to turn off their cell phones while eating dinner, often times filling the face with one hand and phone in the other, eating like pigs, spreading food, wine and bread crumbs all over the table then wiping their mouth with the table cloth when they have an expensive linen napkin. I am a mix of english nobility and Mayflower families, but even the homeless American's have better manners than most french.

  • Monique

    I am French.
    I agree French habits are very different on this side of the Atlantic. But, don’t be fooled, there are downsides to all this.

    1. The French eat family meals together.
    And believe me, some days it’s a real challenge to make it happen.
    I remember a long time ago when my husband and I were new weds, his parents visiting would not have dinner before I was back from work. It was one of these crazy night at work. I needed to work late, but they could not hear it and made me feel guilty about it.
    Same scenario occurred again when baby was born and needed to be nursed when it was their to me for dinner.

    2. The French sit down and enjoy their meals.
    True about the sitting part. Not so sure about the enjoyment;)

    3. They French don’t snack! They eat, but not all day long. It’s OK to feel hungry between meals.
    Well this is because our parents would not serve us anything between meals. They don’t care. It’s all about themselves. They just cook whatever they feel like and even if we don’t eat it, they will just threatened us saying we should not dare asking for anything between meals.

    4. The French never say diet.
    I don’t agree. Diets exist here. Many people are constantly on a diet. See Duncan diet for example.

    5. The French know their limit, then stop eating.
    Well again, our parents decide for us our portions and tell us to finish our plate. We learn that our appetite is what is on the plate.

    6. Parents are in charge of food education, not schools!
    Parents just prepare whatever they want whenever they want. As a child you are totally dependent.

    7. The French eat lighter at night.
    In the evening parents are too happy to send their children to bed to feed them properly. “Une soupe et au lit!”

    8. The French don’t eat emotionally and restrict portion size.

    Maybe you don’t see a woman eating potato chips on a couch, but it happens. A lot.

    9. Eat your veggies. You don’t have to LIKE it, but you do have to TASTE it.
    Yes as a kid you have to taste. You have no choice. Parents will threaten you so you taste. You are not allowed to leave the table without finishing your plate. I have spent so many afternoons both at home or school before a plate that was disgusting me as I was not allowed to not eat what was on my plate.

    10. The French prefer water.
    True.
    This how I recognize French kids at my place. The often react as they don’t understand why I am asking what they want to drink as they only drink water.
    Adults will have wine but more than one or 2 glasses though 😉

    11. The French eat slowly.
    We are being constantly told to whatch our manners. Eating slowly is part of it.

    12. The French eat mostly real food. Quality not quantity.
    Agree 🙂

  • Monique

    I am French.
    I agree French habits are very different on this side of the Atlantic. But, don't be fooled, there are downsides to all this.

    1. The French eat family meals together.
    And believe me, some days it's a real challenge to make it happen.
    I remember a long time ago when my husband and I were new weds, his parents visiting would not have dinner before I was back from work. It was one of these crazy night at work. I needed to work late, but they could not hear it and made me feel guilty about it.
    Same scenario occurred again when baby was born and needed to be nursed when it was their to me for dinner.

    2. The French sit down and enjoy their meals.
    True about the sitting part. Not so sure about the enjoyment;)

    3. They French don't snack! They eat, but not all day long. It's OK to feel hungry between meals.
    Well this is because our parents would not serve us anything between meals. They don't care. It's all about themselves. They just cook whatever they feel like and even if we don't eat it, they will just threatened us saying we should not dare asking for anything between meals.

    4. The French never say diet.
    I don't agree. Diets exist here. Many people are constantly on a diet. See Duncan diet for example.

    5. The French know their limit, then stop eating.
    Well again, our parents decide for us our portions and tell us to finish our plate. We learn that our appetite is what is on the plate.

    6. Parents are in charge of food education, not schools!
    Parents just prepare whatever they want whenever they want. As a child you are totally dependent.

    7. The French eat lighter at night.
    In the evening parents are too happy to send their children to bed to feed them properly. "Une soupe et au lit!"

    8. The French don't eat emotionally and restrict portion size.

    Maybe you don't see a woman eating potato chips on a couch, but it happens. A lot.

    9. Eat your veggies. You don't have to LIKE it, but you do have to TASTE it.
    Yes as a kid you have to taste. You have no choice. Parents will threaten you so you taste. You are not allowed to leave the table without finishing your plate. I have spent so many afternoons both at home or school before a plate that was disgusting me as I was not allowed to not eat what was on my plate.

    10. The French prefer water.
    True.
    This how I recognize French kids at my place. The often react as they don't understand why I am asking what they want to drink as they only drink water.
    Adults will have wine but more than one or 2 glasses though 😉

    11. The French eat slowly.
    We are being constantly told to whatch our manners. Eating slowly is part of it.

    12. The French eat mostly real food. Quality not quantity.
    Agree 🙂

  • Derek

    I can’t believe the number of editing and proofreading mistakes in this article. Wow.

  • Derek

    I can't believe the number of editing and proofreading mistakes in this article. Wow.

  • pam

    the gross generalities and fiction assigned in this article are dumbfounding. Based on what survey, research or statistics do you write these “facts” about an entire culture?

  • pam

    um, let’s not forget that when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, something like three TONS of Jelly Belly jelly beans were delivered to the White House. I just can’t believe the one sided viewpoint of those who dislike certain politicians. There is a lot of grey area and it’s better to admit that than to come off as a fringe person waiting in the bushes to confront people.

  • pam

    to the two respondents below, I would just have to say that EVERY politician and president and family have benefited from “perks” of being in office. Let’s not try to paint a picture of half truths and fiction to appoint moral certitude about others.

  • pam

    to the two respondents below, I would just have to say that EVERY politician and president and family have benefited from "perks" of being in office. Let's not try to paint a picture of half truths and fiction to appoint moral certitude about others.

  • pam

    um, let's not forget that when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, something like three TONS of Jelly Belly jelly beans were delivered to the White House. I just can't believe the one sided viewpoint of those who dislike certain politicians. There is a lot of grey area and it's better to admit that than to come off as a fringe person waiting in the bushes to confront people.

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  • Kathy

    How ignorant are you? Single handedly educate them on a balanced diet!? As a former grocery store checkout person, I can tell you that I have never seen a food stamp user with a cart full of fruits and veggies. In fact, you can guess who is using food stamps based on what is in their cart. Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive, processed junk foods are sometimes on sale, cheap. I once had a person using food stamps to pay for fresh lobster, a bakery birthday cake, soda pop, chips ect. Good luck with education on nutrition!

  • Kathy

    How ignorant are you? Single handedly educate them on a balanced diet!? As a former grocery store checkout person, I can tell you that I have never seen a food stamp user with a cart full of fruits and veggies. In fact, you can guess who is using food stamps based on what is in their cart. Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive, processed junk foods are sometimes on sale, cheap. I once had a person using food stamps to pay for fresh lobster, a bakery birthday cake, soda pop, chips ect. Good luck with education on nutrition!

  • momof3

    Jay_Sherman
    I am ‘poor’ I work part time (I would work full time but we can’t afford the high cost of good child care) and my husband works fulltime/overtime. We qualify for food stamps. I am not fat and neither are my children, I cook everything from scratch. If all we bought was junk food we wouldn’t have enough food money to last us the month. If we eat treats they are homemade, if we have pizza it’s because I made it from scratch, and we do not drink soda in this home. My daughters will not be pregnant at 14, I know what she is doing and where she is always. We do not drink, smoke, or do drugs. We drive a very old car that we have done the upkeep ourselves on so that it will continue to last us many more years. If I didn’t have a computer I couldn’t do my job. I work as a traveling CNA and I need to check in via email daily with my employer. I think you are confused about what it means to be poor, you must never have had to work full time at a minimum wage job trying to support a family or you wouldn’t make such grossly inaccurate statements. Oh, and by the way, my home is not even close to being roach infested. Please take some time to learn how to care for those around you and try to refrain from making judgements about entire groups of people.

  • momof3

    Jay_Sherman
    I am 'poor' I work part time (I would work full time but we can't afford the high cost of good child care) and my husband works fulltime/overtime. We qualify for food stamps. I am not fat and neither are my children, I cook everything from scratch. If all we bought was junk food we wouldn't have enough food money to last us the month. If we eat treats they are homemade, if we have pizza it's because I made it from scratch, and we do not drink soda in this home. My daughters will not be pregnant at 14, I know what she is doing and where she is always. We do not drink, smoke, or do drugs. We drive a very old car that we have done the upkeep ourselves on so that it will continue to last us many more years. If I didn't have a computer I couldn't do my job. I work as a traveling CNA and I need to check in via email daily with my employer. I think you are confused about what it means to be poor, you must never have had to work full time at a minimum wage job trying to support a family or you wouldn't make such grossly inaccurate statements. Oh, and by the way, my home is not even close to being roach infested. Please take some time to learn how to care for those around you and try to refrain from making judgements about entire groups of people.

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  • Jay_Sherman

    Then you are the exception (as was my mother)- but still, why are you “poor”? Are you really poor, or do you just accept that label because the gov’t says that all who make less than a certain amount are “poor” (Even though they can live a quality of life unknown to half the world throughout history).

    Why would two able-bodied adults work for minum-wage? Why would you have children if you can not support them without “help” from redistributed wealth? (And now that you have those children, please stay home and take care of them; and don’t leave their up-bringing to strangers who also work for minimum-wage; but who don’t love your children. You will net no gain from working, after taxes and the other expenses incurred- like transportation and child-care. Unless you are capable of earning a lot of money, every cent youearn will be consuimed; and then some. Stay with your children…they are moe important.)

    And remember, it’s not so much about how much you earn, but rather what you do with it. If what you say is true, it sounds like you are half-way there already- so don’t fall into the trap set by our government, which will have you slaving for low wages the rest of your life. Breaking free of the system is the most crucial step. Hubby can make more mowing lawns or some such one-man enterprise, than working for low wages.

    There is no reason for able-bodied people to be poor- You think you’re poor, so you assume the role. If you qualify for food stamps, then that means: Hubby makes squat; you get back more in taxes than you pay; you are getting outside help from the taxpayers. You sound like you’re living responsibly otherwise, so where is your money going?

  • Jay_Sherman

    Then you are the exception (as was my mother)- but still, why are you "poor"? Are you really poor, or do you just accept that label because the gov't says that all who make less than a certain amount are "poor" (Even though they can live a quality of life unknown to half the world throughout history).

    Why would two able-bodied adults work for minum-wage? Why would you have children if you can not support them without "help" from redistributed wealth? (And now that you have those children, please stay home and take care of them; and don't leave their up-bringing to strangers who also work for minimum-wage; but who don't love your children. You will net no gain from working, after taxes and the other expenses incurred- like transportation and child-care. Unless you are capable of earning a lot of money, every cent youearn will be consuimed; and then some. Stay with your children…they are moe important.)

    And remember, it's not so much about how much you earn, but rather what you do with it. If what you say is true, it sounds like you are half-way there already- so don't fall into the trap set by our government, which will have you slaving for low wages the rest of your life. Breaking free of the system is the most crucial step. Hubby can make more mowing lawns or some such one-man enterprise, than working for low wages.

    There is no reason for able-bodied people to be poor- You think you're poor, so you assume the role. If you qualify for food stamps, then that means: Hubby makes squat; you get back more in taxes than you pay; you are getting outside help from the taxpayers. You sound like you're living responsibly otherwise, so where is your money going?

  • Paula

    I am an English woman who has lived in France for 10 years, in this region of France, many of the things mentioned in the article are true. Children will normally say “non, merci’ when you offer them snacks if they are playing with my daughter. Many of my French friends favourite saying when you offer them food it ‘un peu!’ and crap food is not so readily available – no late night shops selling mountains of chocolate and crisps. I feel enormous here and I am a size 14-16. However some contradictions exist – Macdonalds is extremely busy, they make fantastic picnics and them bring bottle and bottles of coca cola for the children. They feed their children raw sugar cubes whilst they are sitting drinking coffee, and the traditional French breakfast is an expresso and cigarette! All the french women I know make amazing quiche and pizza, and couscous.

  • adriatica

    So, are they racist? I heard recently that eating three meals a day is racist.

  • Neal Kernohan

    Not at all. I think you are simply using one definition of race as ethnicity. Race is much more than just skin colour and features. Google the definition of race or look it up in a well renowned dictionary.

  • Neal Kernohan

    Yep, white people are all of the same white race. Europeans are also a race. So are English, French, Irish, Italians, etc. Being part of one race doesn’t exclude you from being part of another. Simply put, you need to read the definition of “race”.

  • Sheryl

    most of the French women I’ve known in the past were “ample” women. They love their food and they love their curves. Nothing wrong with that! This article, way off! Plenty wrong with that.

  • Joe Randazzo

    …a grammatical nightmare.

  • Hélios

    In french, we say “bon appétit” ! All these statements were true, but the american way of life has now come in France.

  • 143jeanne

    French is NOT a RACE.

  • Jay_Sherman

    No. It’s more like a disease 😉 It’s symptoms are: Rudeness; Hairy arm pits, and needing to use 5 letters to achieve an “O” sound…..

  • CastaNefasta

    It’s the same in Italy, I wonder why this post talks about France only.

  • CastaNefasta

    What you say it’s correct, but quick adapatation is wrong unless you refer to geological time ranges.

  • While I enjoyed this article, my personal experience in France strongly disagrees with your statements both about snacking and about drinking water. It was like pulling teeth to get water at a restaurant, and it’s oftenmore costly than the other drinks. By default, we were always offered and served coffee, wine or tea. Soda and water were not parts of the discussion unless specially requested (and then were often forgotten by waiters).

    Shops like Laduree and cheese shoppes were also busy throughout the day, particularly the afternoon between meals. This contradicts the snacking theory.

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