The French Don’t Like Fat People

Kayne said “George Bush Doesn’t Like Black People”.  Well I am here to state “The French Don’t Like Fat People!” Living in France is almost surreal to me that I rarely see overweight people. If I do, nine times out of ten, they are not French. For example, I am a size 6/8 in the states but in many of the designer stores here in France I wear the second to the largest size!  Needless to say, shopping is not one of my favorite pastimes.

I have been at many dinner parties where the subject of weight comes up. French people subscribe to a plan of moderation and overall healthy eating. Their favorite saying is “Il faut faire attention à ce que vous mangez. ” Translation : You must pay attention to what you eat. What surprised me is that the subject went from dining room conversations to an actual political issue. Why you might ask? France is considering a plan to add an extra tax to products they consider fattening snacks as an effort to decrease obesity rates. Can you imagine what would happen if the States decided that they were going to put an extra tax on ice cream or potato chips to help people stop eating? In fact, many French government officials and reporters use the example of the United States as a scare tactic. On article I read entitled “Obésité: «A ce rythme là, la France rattrapera les Etats-Unis en 2020” details how France will catch of to America’s  30% obesity rate by 2020.

To French people, Americans are the poster children for obesity. I am not overweight, but compared to French standards I could probably stand to lose a couple of kilos/5 pounds. But the funny and beautiful thing about it is that I don’t want to. Yes I agree that Americans should pay more attention to what they eat because it helps you live longer. But I am not sure that I want my government dictating with taxes what foods I can afford to eat. The thought actually kills my appetite.

-French Kissed

Want to feel like you’re traveling without moving? Read the rest of French Kissed’s experiences here.

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  • Essien E.

    Nice one.. It’s spot on, with regards to the current political discourse on social security and private health insurance in America. The tax levy on fatty foods will help in reducing huge Social Security budget deficits in America. Come on. America should tailor the French policy to fit the American market . It will help save lives and solve social security woes in America.

  • Nicoise Canadienne

    Dear French Kissed,

    I would like to raise some friendly arguments in terms of your article.

    1. The fact that French people devote a considerable amount of time to discussions about food and weight, the fact that their dress sizes are smaller, the fact that most of them are thin, and the fact that they regard an overweight person as an outsider – absolutely cannot be held against them. The French have developed their culture over hundreds of years, and whatever their prejudices may be, they have a right to them. Much like Americans have the right to allow junk food vending machines in elementary schools, the French also have the right to forbid them in their own schools. If their cultural and social nuances are disturbing, please refrain from visits to France.
    2. Slight correction: at the rate of France’s weight gain, by 2020 they will catch up with the 65% in the United States, not 30% like you stated.
    3. Various controls such as the junk food tax allow the French health care system (or the Canadian for that matter) to save millions of dollars a year in costs treating diabetes and heart disease, associated with extra weight.
    4. It is absolutely wonderful that you feel “bien dans votre peau” and seek no yo-yo dieting habits, like many do. However, when the number one cause of death in the United States (and probably Canada) is tied to excess weight, it is a problem – both personal and social. Say what you will, but if one’s negligent diet causes others’ taxes to be spent to treat one’s acquired diabetes, it is irresponsible behavior. Again, as to not be misunderstood, I repeat myself, given that one’s poor diet causes unnecessary health risks, it is disrespectful to society, the government, and one’s family.