Monday, February 25, 2008

Those skinny Gallic goofballs!...

At least you can't say the French are any ruder to foreigners than to say, their President. And he can hold his own, too.
Footage of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's sharp exchange with a man who refused to shake his hand at an agriculture show collected hundreds of thousands of hits on the Internet on Sunday.

Sarkozy was filmed smiling and shaking hands with visitors as he arrived on Saturday for the opening of the agriculture fair, dubbed the "world's biggest farm" drawing some 600,000 people to celebrate French farming.

As he moved through the crowd, Sarkozy drew near the man, who told him, "Oh no, don't touch me." The president, who kept smiling, responded: "Get lost, then."

"You disgust me," the man said.

"Get lost, you stupid bastard," Sarkozy responded. [More]
I like to watch the video and dub in the words with my own unique French accent.

I say we invite him to the Farm Progress Show and schedule a special TV report (after family viewing hours, of course).

Still, if it takes rudeness to establish enough discipline to control overeating, it may be worth it. The French obviously know something we don't about when to say when at the table.
Because they use internal cues -- such as no longer feeling hungry -- to stop eating, reports a new Cornell study. Americans, on the other hand, tend to use external cues -- such as whether their plate is clean, they have run out of their beverage or the TV show they're watching is over.

"Furthermore, we have found that the heavier a person is -- French or American -- the more they rely on external cues to tell them to stop eating and the less they rely on whether they felt full," said senior author Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in the Department of Applied Economics and Management, now on leave to serve as executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion until January 2009.

The new study, an analysis of questionnaires from 133 Parisians and 145 Chicagoans about how they decide when to stop eating, is being published in the journal Obesity and is being presented this later month at an the Winter Marketing Educators conference.

"Over-relying on external cues to stop eating a meal may prove useful in offering a partial explanation of why body mass index [a calculation based on the relationship of weight to height] varies across people and potentially across cultures," said co-author Collin Payne, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher. He stressed that further studies should following up with smoking behavior and socio-economic differences as well. "Relying on internal cues for meal cessation, rather than on external cues, may improve eating patterns in the long term. [More]
Does this prove in reverse the "fat and jolly" stereotype has some basis? Or is it more subtle that that. Think about it. If you wanted to do food consumption research, France would be your first choice on your grant application, wouldn't it?

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