“Of course ChrisTT, I know-I live in France-I benefit from this less inequality. But when you cannot get a job (not for lack of trying) or what I see in my entourage (ready to work with Master degrees) who are working at low quality and low paying jobs...depressing. Although some leave France for the UK, USA, Australia etc....to work .”
“Truth be told-some Americans commenting on this are feeling their feathers ruffled. Europeans work to live....Americans live to work....but one difference I didn't see in the poll: much easier to get a job (and whoops-to get laid off) in America. It is (really) great to live in Europe when you have a job.....and when you don't? Hard-cannot work to live when you can't work.”
ChrisTT on Oct 7, 2013 at 17:35:38
“That's what the social safety net is for. There is much less inequality in Europe.
Apr 18, 2013 at 05:25:45
“Great breakfasts! What you can see is that almost all of the breakfasts contain some protein and fat. This helps avoid the shakes until lunch. I like some of the comments too on how these dietitians can make such elaborate breakfasts.
It is true...hard balance-time and eating well in the morning.
I too am a dietitian living in France-four kids to get ready in the morning off to school. My breakfast is like the Frenchies: a couple slices of a baguette de compagne (more grainy type of baguette), toasted and smeared with small amount of salty butter. Coffee with cream. Full fat greek yogurt with a bit of honey. This fills up the body and soul until the main meal of the day: LUNCH!”
“My mom told me wisely, 'don't be a restaurant'. She raised 4 kids with just 'there it is, eat it' and I do the same with my 4 kids. We live in France, summers in NJ. I am dietitian too. No eating issues. No rewards for eating. My kids all eat the same meals, but I don't give them a choice. Chez nous it is 'menu fixe' (only one choice). But , they are hungry and the food is good, so they eat it up. Simple.”
Feb 21, 2013 at 09:34:15
“Actually you are right, it sounds completely awful. We are only in the states during the summer (on the Jersey Shore) and it is the only time of the year we have more liberty to eat 'fun/junk' foods. The beach is a place for easy eating-sandwiches and a salty side of something...it is often that bag of orange (Doritos) chips that I bring. The sea gulls also love Doritos, because if you don't hide them, these birds come down and will do anything to get these chips. If you leave your blanket, they will find the chips in your bags, take them out and attack them. Looks like the seagulls have an addiction too.”
Liban CZ on Feb 21, 2013 at 10:29:07
“looks like your life is taken care off, by doritos......yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
Feb 21, 2013 at 06:10:31
“Summertime on the beach at the Jersey Shore, 4 kids and I enjoying the taste of Doritos. We don't buy them often, but for some reason, we love to enjoy them by the ocean....One of my kids asks me, "Mom, why are Doritos so addicting?"
I could never answer until now: (quoted from the article)
"The coating of salt, the fat content that rewards the brain with instant feelings of pleasure, the sugar that exists not as an additive but in the starch of the potato itself — all of this combines to make it the perfect addictive food. "”
“Isn't it difficult for parents to find solutions to help overweight and obese children meet their ideal weight? A touchy subject for a doctor or dietitian to address with the right words. Parents may move their eyes away from the weight chart when their child is over the recommended weight, maybe because it is an 'almost impossible' problem to solve.
When I worked at WIC public health program, many parents I have counseled on their children's overweight issues are also trying to just 'keep it together.'
These parents need support early on, to help keep their kids in an ideal weight before they are older children.”
“Very good article. I liked how you emphasized one of the main points in corporate Wellness programs: we can educate on nutrition and wellness, but if the cafeteria is serving unhealthy foods, the benefits are not as high for the employees. Thank you.”
“Love this- how true! I have this anti-fad diet manifesto too-97% of those who are on a diet regain the weight.”
Paleo Nouveau on Apr 21, 2013 at 17:16:34
“And what caused them to gain weight in the first place? Eating in moderation? Paleo? Vegan? SAD? Vegetarian? Being lazy? No willpower? No wheat? Lots of wheat? Too much dairy? No dairy? Lo carb? Ornish?
Perhaps the answer lies in the painfully obvious; we derail from the basics and want and desire that there are shortcuts. In other words we eat junk and highly processed foods full of empty calories and then blame the "diet didn't work!"
Apr 16, 2013 at 09:20:20
“I like this story. Reminds me of my 'Americanness' foods that I also serve to my family here in France. Whether it is the Friday night pizza habits, hamburgers on the grill, tortilla chips dipped in guacamole, peanut butter and apples or why not the plain bagels bought at Picard...all here in La France. When we return to the states every summer, it is American foods that we indulge on: corn on the cob, NJ tomatoes, blue claw crabs, fried chicken....
My kids are half French and half American, but they love America - some of it because of the link with the food.
It reminds me of my grandmother, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who brought over her food traditions to our American plates.
Food is sacred.”
hp blogger Jamie Schler on Apr 16, 2013 at 09:27:18
“Thanks for commenting, Mary, and you and I have so much in common (starting with Friday night pizza nights!) It certainly makes for a complicated yet very exciting kitchen and home. And I am actually now visiting in the US and indulging....”
Mar 30, 2013 at 04:31:41
“Hi Meghan, I am not saying that the French population is all thin and has perfect health. Of course not. I was making reference to the doctor's (inaccurate) statistics that 2% of population can eat what they want and stay thin. If eating what you want means you are a glutton and devour 'n'importe quoi' (whatever you want) then 2% is more accurate than 58% of French population that eats and stays within normal weight. Actually what Paleo Nouveau states 'real whole foods even high in fat will fill you up quicker and keep you satiated longer' is true for how many of the French population eat. They eat these higher fat foods, with pleasure, in small quantities. The foods that the doctor mentions in the beginning of the article, "roasted goose and clotted cream." Voila-my 2 cents.”
Mar 28, 2013 at 05:50:24
“The French population must not part of the statistics you mention, "2 percent of us who can enjoy food and stay thin."
Isn't that the root of the problem in America? From an early age there is little emphasis on taste education, learning hunger and full cues, too much sugar and processed foods, too much eating on the run and not enough time to sit down and do what is basic: eat a real meal that has been cooked from basic ingredients.
Signed, Mary Brighton MS, RD -dietitian, mom of 4, living in SW France -(where many French eat roasted duck and cheese and stay a normal weight).”
Meghan Duprey on Mar 29, 2013 at 11:45:19
“Actually Mary, according to The New York Times, 42% of the French population is also overweight/obese. So they're not exactly that far behind us or a pillar of health standard to be held up to. Their once healthier lifestyle was actually attributed more to their active lifestyle (ie walking as their major mode of transportation) rather than their opulent diet.”
Mar 4, 2013 at 18:23:15
“Those who don't cook have very few options on what to eat. As we get older and don't step foot in the kitchen the coices are: take out, beg mom, or buy something microwavable in the supermarket. Quel dommage.”
“Where we live in France, my kids (even my youngest who is 6 years old) spend shockingly long days in school. My oldest, 13 will start school at 8:20 am and finish at 5:15 pm. When the two week vacations come (every 8 weeks) these kids are at the brink of exhaustion. Why long days and two week vacations? Parents work (and no school buses to bring kids home from school) and the tourism industry. With two weeks off people GO somewhere for vacation.
More academic time in school is not the answer.”
“Africans have higher rates of hypertension, a primary risk factor for stroke. Diet and genetics play a role in hypertension.”
BlindChance on Feb 10, 2013 at 16:21:54
“This article is about Americans.”
ziggybud on Feb 8, 2013 at 19:13:22
“Mary that's not entirely true. Diet is the only thing that plays a role in developing hypertension. If you eat clean, limit salt intake and exercise you can avoid sickness and disease. I am living proof that genetics has absolutely nothing to do with it.”
“loved your article! laughed a lot! I live in France for 10 months of the year (SW France) and have four youngish kids. We spend summers in NJ, where I grew up. I do understand the supermarket thing...where the French jelly, honey, chocolate and yogurt aisles are filled with so much choice, in suburb NJ it is exactly how you spelled it out. You get used to it...buy the end of the summer I am a pro! What also makes me 'lightheaded' are these warehouse food places like costco and BJ's..white lights and huge quantities. Oh la la. It isn't a criticism, just need to get used to it.
NJ is the Garden State and luckily, in the summer the farmer's markets are in town. A good balance to the grocery stores!
Jan 17, 2013 at 18:02:49
“Nutritional science is important, I agree.
I don't agree that we need to sit down to a processed industrialized dinner. America may be one of the few countries where we accept this as normal. Why should we?
Many of us can choose to put 'eating close to the earth' as a priority, but we don't.
Quelle dommage! (What a shame!)”
nyscribbler on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:21:33
“Well said. We can accept science and use it without giving up the sound dietary practices that whole and organic food value.”
The Pooch on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:15:11
“Hear hear! Just because real, whole, organic, grass-fed, etc, foods are hard to find or expensive, does that mean we should just give up and accept what industrial agriculture shoves at us? Of course not. We can change our diets for the better in our personal lives. We can also fight for policies and practices that support the production of real food.”