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European Adventure
Are Europeans Healthier Than Americans?

Chocolate and Strawberry

We are planning a European adventure for this spring. Besides experiencing the wonderful natural and manmade sights, we also look forward to new foods and wines. I’m always amazed at how healthy most Europeans are compared to what I often see in the US.

So, are Europeans healthier than Americans?

The UN statistics show Monaco with the highest life expectancy at 89.73 years and at 191 is Swaziland at 31.88 years. This U.S. is #34. Every European country has a higher life expectancy than the U.S. Poland and the Eastern European countries (such as Romania and Solvinia) are lower.

According to M, Avendano, M Glymour, J Banks, and JMackenbach (2009), “Health Disadvantage in US Adults Aged 50-74” older Americans are significantly sicker than their English counterparts. The data clearly shows this to be the case, across a wide range of diseases; heart disease, hypertension, and mobility limitations

More Exercise

Maybe I’m generalizing, but there is a tradition of hiking in England, Switzerland, and Germany. The English have public walking paths through farm land and walking through a sheep pasture isn’t uncommon. There seems to be more of a culture of people who regularly exercise. On Sundays, everyone turns out for their weekly hikes, even people you would think of as not athletic.

At home, we tend to drive everywhere- work, grocery, movies etc. Unless I set out to “go for a walk” I seldom go more than the width of a parking lot to my car.

But, on vacation, it’s fun to walk. Sometimes it seems easier to walk than figure out the train or subway system. Besides, you would miss the architecture and people watching.

Less Quantity

photography by Iuigi Diamanti

White Wine Glass

My European Adventure starts with travels to France - always start with a stop at La Boulangerie (bakery) and La Pâtisserie (pastry). The French say that you can only be a great Baker or Pastry Chef- but not both. Yet, The French Don’t Get Fat.

By limiting eating to meal times and not snacking on poor nutritious stuff, eating smaller quantities over all, the French seem to have it all.

They eat CARBS (!) and drink WINE (!), but not to excess. Once you slow down and let your taste buds enjoy great food, you will give your stomach the twenty or so minutes it needs to signal - hey that was delicious but I am done now. You can stop. Save the rest for later.

“Ignore the scale and learn to live by the "zipper test"Mireille Guiliano

Better Quality

Europeans have smaller homes, smaller kitchens, and therefore smaller appliances. It’s common to find a “half” size refrigerator- what Americans would call a dorm size.

Europeans shop more often and look for fresh ingredients. Eating less processed food provides more nutrients per meal. All of the food should be fresh - no chemical additives

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