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Word for Word

Chew on this, American women

Published January 29, 2005

[Getty Images]
Author Mireille Guiliano grew up in France and first visited America as a teenage exchange student. She says she came home fat. Now she’s a businesswoman in New York.

Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat (Knopf, $22), is making the talk show rounds to discuss her new book and its simple premise that the answer to Americans' struggle with weight is to adopt a French attitude: Savor all of life, but in moderation. "At the outset," she writes, "let's state that French women simply do not suffer the terror of kilos that afflicts so many of their American sisters. All the chatter about diets I hear at cocktail parties in America would make any French woman cringe."

So how are French women different? Here's an excerpt from Guiliano's list.

- SUSAN ASCHOFF, Times staff writer

* French women typically think about good things to eat. American women typically worry about bad things to eat.

* French women eat smaller portions of more things. American women eat larger portions of fewer things.

* French women eat a lot more fruit.

* French women love bread and would never consider a life without carbs.

* French women don't eat "fat-free," "sugar-free" or anything artificially stripped of natural flavor.

* French women love chocolate, especially the dark, slightly bitter, silky stuff with its nutty aroma.

* French women do stray, but they always come back, believing there are only detours and no dead ends.

* French women don't watch much TV.

* French women don't have much TV to watch.

* French women don't care for hard liquor.

* French women do enjoy wine regularly, but with meals and only a glass (or maybe two).

* French women think dining in is as sexy as dining out.

* French women walk everywhere they can.

* French women will dress to take out the garbage (you never know).

* French women know one can go far with a great haircut, a bottle of Champagne, and a divine perfume.

* French women eat for pleasure.

* French women don't diet.

* French women don't get fat.

Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.

[Last modified January 28, 2005, 09:45:05]

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