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The Battle of the Bulge

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Pediatricians talk about an “epidemic” of childhood obesity in the United States. But the French, despite all that rich food, don’t seem to be having the same problem. What’s their secret?

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About Mark Kleiman

  • Jim Carruthers

    At Idlewords, it’s French week, and they compare French school lunch menus with US school lunch menus.

    The US diet largely consists of processed fat, sugar and chemicals.

  • murphy

    I heard somewhere that the French consider it a sign of a bad parent to over-feed your child.

    I think here, it’s considered bad if you don’t treat your child to things frequently.

    I read your longer posting on your personal blog.

    When I was a cook for a YMCA day care, I had to feed 75 kids breakfast, lunch and snack every day. I was required to fill out paperwork, showing that I had included certain types of nutritional components each day. There had to be one protien, one carbohydrate, vegetables, and certain vitamins.

    And all that on two hundred dollars a week! It was tough. Taste was not primary, let me tell you.

    We had to have all the paperwork done in order to get the government subsidies. THey were definitely concentrating on nutritional aspects of food.

    Personally, I’m a little worried about food in america. We are so removed from the source of the food. It is so highly processed before it gets to us. And it is SO CHEAP. It seems unreasonably cheap.

    The government has done a lot, with subsidies and such, to keep prices very low and availability very high…

    I am not entirely sure what this means, but I know people don’t appreciate what comes too easily. I worry about the environmental aspects of this, as well as future hunger issues…

    I can’t help but think our obesity problem is a part of this larger food culture in america.