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Commentary: "The Fat Fallacy"

By Christina Abt

Buffalo, NY – I've decided I'm moving to Paris.

Although, this very recent decision may seem hasty, I have some well-founded reasons for embarking on a Trans-Atlantic relocation.

Number one, I look pretty darn cute in a beret.

Number two, as a Parisienne, I will be able to bask in the glory of the Eiffel Tower each and everyday.

Number three, Monet and his romantic gardens will be a mere, scenic train ride away.

Yet besides the obvious, there is one central motivating factor behind my Paris packing flurry. That is, once I settle into my chic Left Bank apartment with view, I will be able to eat whatever I want and still loose weight.

It's true! According to American neuroscientist Dr. Will Clower, author of the book, "The Fat Fallacy," the French spend their lives existing primarily on a diet of cheese, butter, and chocolate, washed down by vintage champagnes and fine wines.

Yet, only 8% of the French are overweight (compared to 50% of Americans) and additionally they live longer and suffer from less heart disease.

Clower discovered these phenomenal statistics while conducting two years of postdoctoral work in France. During his gourmand research, the good doctor observed that the French diet is primarily founded upon America's most wanted/least allowed foods. Clower also learned that the French flourish on their inverted food pyramid due as much to their attitude toward food,as its caloric count or nutritional value.

More simply put, the French eat fat and stay thin by exercising their minds, as well as their bodies.

Clower's premise is that French nutrition is based, not on calorie counts, but on fundamental food philosophies including: "It's the quality of food that counts not the quantity, so enjoy whatever you want to eat, just in moderation. Eat food,not "products" -- avoid processed items. Eat slowly, take smaller bites and finish each mouthful completely before taking the next one."

However, in addition to their common sense dietary guidelines,the French also live by a unique set of eating formularies...which are the ones I find so compelling. "Eat a certain amount of dairy fat and olive oil with meals. Drink a glass of wine with meals. Finish each meal with a small cup of good, strong coffee." And, of course, my personal favorite: "Eat dessert -- but save room for it by having smaller portions of other courses."

So thanks to Clower's research, there is now scientific proof that by eating meals made with pure foods (including dairy fat and olive oil), served in smaller portions, and enjoyed at a more leisurely pace, I can enjoy a life of fats, carbs,chocolate...anything I desire and still drop dress sizes.

So,I say, Viva La France and pass the croissants! This is one French Revolution that I am definitely going to definitely join.

"Heart and Soul" with writer Christina Abt is a monthly feature of WBFO News.