Sunday, December 07, 2008

Me and my RSI...

No, not a repetitive strain injury, but the Régime Social des Indépendants (the people I pay a huge amount of my small income to, for free healthcare). I've been sitting on the mailbox waiting for a refund check to arrive, so when an envelope came through today I tore it open, hoping to find a check made out to me with lots of digits.

Instead I found a leaflet telling me that recent studies show that people in my line of work (les artisans et commerçants représentant la catégorie socio-professionnelle) are the most affected by le surpoids et l'obésité in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. So people in my line of work suffer the most from being overweight, or even obesity. Nice.

The info goes on to say how we can avoid obesity, like bouger plus et manger mieux. They've obviously been watching me make my way through the boxes of Christmas chocolates I bought on offer at Auchan.

This government campaign against obesity in France has been going on for a little while now. According to Le Figaro, almost half the French population is overweight. Yes, you read that right, almost half the population.

What's that old stereotype of French women being the size of your pinky? Or as the above book title by Mireille Guiliano says, 'French Women Don't Get Fat'? Guess it's not so true anymore. The government doesn't like it and is trying their best to educate (or I suppose, remind really) the people of France how to eat.

Man, McDonalds everywhere, no smoking anywhere, people drinking tea after lunch, fat French women- I hardly recognize the place anymore.

Anyway, the silly thing is that people are always telling me my children need fattening up, they are so thin. Although my rather old-fashioned pediatrician did remark how much better it is as girls to be so thin. (It's at least refreshing to see that pc-ness hasn't taken over the country yet). So I really didn't need this advice from the RSI, as well-intentioned as it was.

I would have preferred the check.
Before Christmas.
To buy all the deliciously fattening food I hope to consume over the holidays.

Hmmm, maybe that's why they've sent the leaflet now, before the check....

7 comments:

La Belette Rouge said...

I am shocked to hear that over half the population is obese. I suppose this is eventually what happens when McDonalds arrive in a culture. I imagine if the French women had continued to eat what the French eat and not begun to incorporate fake foods in their diets they would be not receiving this pamphlet at Christmas time.

Please assure me that even with this epidemic the French will never make foie gras illegal and they will never develop light Brie cheese? Please!!:-)

A Work In Progress.. said...

Yes, I too am shocked to hear about the obesity rate in France! But I am glad to hear the French are still not PC, how wonderful! Maybe French women are now fat, but I bet they still carry themselves with such an air of confidence, grace, beauty and fashion, that it isn't as noticeable? And that attitude...I bet that is still there???

vicki archer said...

I don't know where all the French fatties are - they don't live near me! xv

wcs said...

I suppose one must check the definition of "obese." Overweight people in France look positively normal compared to many Americans.

Also, in the big cities, filled with young people, who tend to be very trendy, thin, and dressed in black, it's harder to spot the larger folk.

Out here in the country, where we have more older people, the thin folks tend to be tourists!

poppy fields said...

I still find the overall population here to be skinnier than what I see in the USA, but if they keep up the bad habits I've seen...like when you drive by a McDo at 3pm and there are people in there chowing down, well, they are going to catch up on the fat train.

Betty C. said...

You should see all of the candy, chocolate, cakes, etc. that are brought into (and snarfed down in) my worksite daily -- both homemade and store-bought. I'm with Meredith -- I don't know how long the French can stay thin, because their habits are really changing.

The Duchess said...

La Belette, hate to break it to you, but they do already produced a low fat Brie and Camembert, I know because the Duke accidentally brought home a Camembert Léger the other night! I think he's trying to tell me something.....