This entry is in repsonse to that book: French Women Don't Get Fat
I realize that this book was written by the fabulous Grande Dame of Veuve Cliquot and she has some interesting views on eating right without guilt and some tasty recipes. Her book definately justified my desire to eat pain au chocolate every morning. However, there is a myth that French women don't get fat. They do. I've seen them. The obesity numbers are rising in Paris too! The feminin ideal is still waif thin but not as attainable as it once was.
It is also a myth that you can eat whatever you want as long as you balance it throughout the day. If you eat a few croissants and then sit in front of the T.V., it's going to get stored as fat. I doubt those croissants are going to wait around to see if you will have a salad for lunch before turning into unwanted fat cells.
Also the number of French people that smoke is atronomical. Just last night I was in a small restaurant and I felt my lungs filling with smoke from EVERYBODY smoking (even the waiter at one point) It seems to me that the this book forgot to mention the fact that French culture loves to smoke and drink coffee. Both are appetite suppressants. Voila! I think the book should say, "French women don't get fat, they just get lung cancer". This book fails to mention the other "habbits" that most French women employ to keep their figures trim.
I'm not saying that the French don't have style, flair, and beauty because I'm in awe of it daily. However their ideal of beauty, which borders on anorexia, should not necessarily be packaged to us in the U.S as the leader in nutrition. I also feel a closer examination at why French women appear to be thinner than the rest of us fatties in the US should be examined with some serious empirical health data, not gereralizations. There is no data in this book to back up anything–which is unfortunate because I would like to believe it.
The book does make some good observations: eat less processed foods, walk, eat slower, and enjoy the conversation at the dinner table. All in all I enjoyed the read: the simple strategies for keeping the pounds off, and the recipes. However, take it with a grain of salt and know that none of her suggestions are backed up with data. Now go out and enjoy that chocolate mousse!