News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim

|| 9 August 2015

No Fatties in Spain

In the previous Nouvelles I gave you impressions of French Provence shared by friends who recently visited that south of France region. From Provence they traveled to Spain. In their report, they made this interesting comment about the Spanish:

Today's Spaniards are tall and well-built with few obese people. We also didn't see many people smoking. We'd had a tip to take the metro out to the end of the line, to a beach resort on the Bay of Biscay. This turned out to be a charming village undiscovered by the tourist horde, filled with local families on vacation. Grandparents, babies in buggies, and everything in between. We didn't see a single obese person that entire outing. So they are doing something right with their nutrition.

All I can say is, 'Viva Espana!'

Not long after I published the original Chic & Slim, at a book signing in Corpus Christi (Texas) I was approached by a young Spanish woman who was an exchange high school student who had been placed with a family there. She was almost crying when she told me about her life with this Texas family. Their meals were almost all processed food heated in the microwave. They never bought any fresh fruits or vegetables. School lunches were not any better than what she was served in the family — all starch and fats and processed food.

The family lived far out in a suburban area and where there were no sidewalks or public transportation. They went everywhere in a car. With the diet the Spanish exchange student was being served, and lack of exercise (in Spain she and her friends walked everywhere) she was gaining weight and did not feel well. And besides that, she was miserable.

Her situation was especially sad because with Corpus Christi’s proximity to the fruit and vegetable production in the Rio Grande valley, there was a wonderful assortment of fruits and vegetables available in the stores and little markets. Many varieties of sea food were available from the bay and from the Gulf of Mexico. In other areas of the city there were ample opportunities for all sorts of exercise. The Spanish student unfortunately found herself placed with a family that did not take advantage of the opportunities the area offered for a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle is about choices. As my friends observed, the Spanish are making lifestyle choices that keep them slim.

Viva Espana!