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View Diary: American in Europe--Prologue (31 comments)

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  •  I suspect there are (7+ / 0-)

    three big factors in thinner Europeans. One is the walking and use of public transport, and another is that the food isn't full of corn syrup, or HFCS to make it sound more scientific.

    The amount in US food is shocking, and most goes unnoticed unless you read the tiny print on packages very carefully.

    The third factor is in not eating to-go food, wolfing down something while dashing across town. Sitting down for a real meal, however briefly, goes a long way toward helping the body utilize whatever it's being fed.

    We are often so identified with whatever thoughts we may be having that we don’t realize the thoughts are a commentary on reality, and not reality itself. -- Gangaji

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:37:11 PM PST

    •  I really appreciate these three points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When watching live TV (which is infrequently) I often mute the sound and just watch the ads silently.  Try it.  Fast foods with sugar piled on top of fats piled on top of carbs on top of ...

    •  locomotion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aufklaerer, ER Doc

      Americans are probably the most sedentiary people on earth.  Europeans are slimmer because they physically move more.  This is because of their urban design, which by predating the car meant cities designed for the pedestrian.

    •  Mainly though, I think it's a different attitude (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anana, ER Doc, the mom in the middle

      toward eating -- toward when and how and why they eat. For some reason, Americans seem to feel guilty about eating. They tend to eat surruptitiously, as if eating were a private pleasure rather than a communal ritual. In Europe, eating is more formalized, and more celebrated.

      The same is true of drinking alcohol. American bars are dark, secretive places associated with vice and depravity. They have no windows. Whereas European cafes serving alcohol have tables out on the street. Children often run in and out amongst the drinkers. It is not considered to be abnormal.

    •  Not only high frutose corn syrup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but American processed foods contain additives that have been banned for years in other countries.  Some of the additives will get you time in prison if you try to use them in food that you sell to the public.

    •  More factors (0+ / 0-)

      You've hit upon the big 3.  Here are some others:

      4.  The portions in restaurants.  Doggie bags are rare because they are not needed.

      5.  Cycling.  In Europe, you don't need spandex and a carbon fiber road bike to be a cyclist.  Plenty of people wear work clothes and use their bikes for the utility of  cheap, dependable transportation.

      6.  Fewer carbs.  Consider Italian thin pizza versus Chicago-style deep dish.  Consider French cheeses and fatty meats versus, say, soft pretzels, Cinnabon and other super-carb mall foods.  And you will not find Super Big Gulp sodas at every corner store.

      All forms of fundamentalist thought breed magical thinking.

      by YankInUK on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:07:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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