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« NYC Guidebook, 1954 | Main | Federal Aid for the Arts? »

October 27, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

So maybe it really does come down to calories and exercise. OK, all that and fiber. Plus treating food as a sensual pleasure to be lingered over rather than a tanking-up to be hustled through.

A nice passage from Michael Fumento, the bete noir of the fat-acceptance movement:

Europeans get almost no wonderful diet advice thrown at them, like we do -- by the government and those wonderful women's magazines that regularly offer "the last diet you'll ever need." Only the U.K. provides food labels with fat and calorie content. Without our "solutions," Europeans are so much thinner than we. Why?

Our food portions look like something out of Jurassic Park.

Michael Fumento debates Richard ("Eat Fat") Klein here.



posted by Michael at October 27, 2006


But has eating out become as commonplace in Europe as it has in the States? One might also investigate transportation issues -- denizens of New York City tend to be thinner on average, but probably eat out as much or more than the rest of the US. One might suspect the difference is that Gothamites walk more and use more public transportation.

Posted by: James M on October 27, 2006 3:44 PM

I'm sure our reliance on processed food and grabbing lunch on the run has something to do with it as well. Even if overweight people are responsible for their own weight, you can't deny that our country has an unhealthy approach to food in general, maybe BECAUSE of the abundance (and government policies that seem to focus on some foods over others, making them cheaper). For all the talk of organic foods and healthy eating, these foods are usually out of reach for the ones who need them the most and are least able to afford them.

Posted by: Neil on October 27, 2006 4:16 PM

I think Fumento would agree with all your points!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 27, 2006 4:39 PM

I don't know if you have a place called the Golden Corral where you live but it is calorie central. Its all you can eat and the fattest patrons weigh their plates down with heaping piles of food. Its sad to see people who have fannys that spill over both sides of their chairs take several trips to the buffet and then polish their meal off with cheesecake, fudge and ice cream. My guess is there are no Golden Corrals in Europe.

Posted by: al on October 27, 2006 4:41 PM

2 weeks ago I was returning to NY from a day-long business trip to RI. It was already 7pm and there was still 3 hrs driving ahead, so the coworker and I stopped for a quick dinner at Ruby's Tuesday (I didn't believe nobody could explain to me who's Ruby and what was so special that did she did on Tuesdays?!?)

The entrees that were brought to us had to be served on oval platters (I can't call them "plates"): the round ones wouldn't fit tet-a-tet on a standard 3'x3'deuce. The amount of food in my portion I could feed a family of three for 2 days.

Posted by: Tat on October 27, 2006 5:17 PM

A lot of this springs from old cultural attitudes about food. My Midwestern, German-descended family certainly view food as something that should be view in terms of quantity, not quality. Or, as the old joke goes about a restaurant, "Well, the food was no good but at least the portions were large." It will be easier to learn good portion control once this view dies out.

Posted by: CyndiF on October 27, 2006 5:34 PM

Ruby Tuesday was a prostitute who may or may not have been fictional and about whom a Rolling Stones song was written. Lyrics
I'm thinking the restaurant was named this because someone thought it sounded better than Eleanor Rigby's.

Posted by: ponce on October 27, 2006 5:45 PM

*ponce, you don't believe me? Here, I found them.
Note the 12ounce steak.
They call it "healthy choice".

Posted by: Tat on October 27, 2006 6:22 PM

European women's magazines contain PLENTY of diet advice. The French seem to be especially fond of anti-cellulite creams.

And English women are gaining on Americans in the fatness department (not that I spend a disproportionate amount of time checking out the women when I am overseas...).

Posted by: MQ on October 27, 2006 9:54 PM

Restaurant portions indeed can be enormous, especially at non-upscale sorts of places, but keep in mind that many customers take food home. You're almost expected *not* to finish everything.

Posted by: Peter on October 27, 2006 10:14 PM

Europeans get almost no wonderful diet advice thrown at them, like we do

Which part of Europe has he been to? The part where the people can't read? Or where there aren't any people?

The only difference between our governments and magazines and the ones in the USA, may be that a dire warning overhere is that if we don't look out, we may become as fat as Americans already are. On average.

Yours can't do that.

Posted by: ijsbrand on October 28, 2006 6:06 AM

Yep...that ole "Jurassic Park" comment says it all.

Posted by: annette on October 30, 2006 9:42 AM

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