Do French Women Diet?

Do French Women Diet?

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

I’ve written time and time again about the French paradox, the idea that the French can eat high fat foods at every meal and still manage to maintain a healthy weight. This concept was further popularized in the 2004 book French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano. The author describes the secret to a French woman’s slimness is not only that she does not diet, but that her weight is managed by how she eats, what she eats, and, most importantly, her healthy relationship with food.

But could the French paradox and the idea that French women don’t get fat be mere myths? They may just be. According to recent reports, 15% of French women are obese and a further 26% are overweight. The reports goes on to say that in the past 12 years, the average French person has put on almost 7 lbs and almost 2 inches around the waist, due in part to the change in eating habits in towns and cities and the increasing prevalence of fast food.

More recently, an article in the Times London describes how French women DO in fact diet to either lose weight or to maintain their slim figures. The Dukan Diet, created by French physician Dr Pierre Dukan and detailed in his best-seller book of the same name, is said to be used by more than 1.5 million French women. The diet, which will be launched in the UK next month, is similar to the Akins diet (high protein, low carb), but touts a one day on, one day off approach to dieting, while eventually working up to a 1 day of, six days off approach.

So, is the idea that French women don’t diet and don’t get fat a myth? Hmm…only time will tell. Although, I wonder what Mireille Guiliano has to say about this new information. Stay tuned to find out!


  1. I just read on euro chic’s blog about your interview. I will be tuning in to read all about it. I love M.G!

  2. What a fabulous site.. I am enjoying your articles, keep it up!

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