According to a new study released today by the journal Euromed (Volume 1:3, April 1, 2008, pp 13-26), the so-called “French paradox” can be applied to other populations successfully. In an eight year, double-blind, randomized controlled trial, Americans from two major urban areas were fed either their usual diet, or a typical French diet, including, but not limited to, wine with all meals (except breakfast, if breakfast occurred before 8 am), foie gras at least three times weakly, butter-based sauces, and crusty bread. In another arm, an urban French population was given a “typical American” diet, including, but not limited to, at least one meal of fast food daily, four servings of soda-pop, and other specialty foods, such as Philly cheese steaks, Chicago hot dogs, and Detroit coney islands.
According to Dr. Etienne D’Estang, who headed up the French arm of the study, “Perhaps ‘les sanglots longs des violons de l’automne blessent mon coeur,’ but butter doesn’t.”
The investigators concluded:
While our results are by no means conclusive, it appears that a typical French diet, which includes red wine, foie gras, and butter, can improve the health of populations unaccustomed to such habits. Our study did not reveal the reason behind this effect, in which Americans who were on the diet gained an average of 21% increase in longevity, but it appears to be a certain je ne sais quoi. On l’autre main, the French population exposed to typical American merde lost an average of 50% longevity.
Ms Patricia Watanabe, for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), decried the results:
The current study in no way should encourage Americans to engage in the cruel production of foie gras. If it means sacrificing a few years of life, well, that’s the price we pay for not torturing our animal brothers and sisters.
Meanwhile, it’s too early to make any definitive conclusions. First would American’s be willing to eat like the French? What effects might this have on other aspects of American life.
Charlie Woltanski, of the American Sausage Makers Local #125 in Chicago said, “I don’t care how good for you that crap is, if it isn’t a good frank or brat made on the south side, forget it.”