The French Paradox
Published by Sudden Pacific/IdeaWorx at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Sudden Pacific
The French outlive Americans by about two and a half years (76.5 versus 74) and suffer 40 percent fewer heart attacks despite the fact that Gauloise smoking is a national pastime, their diet swims in a torrent of fat and the average Gaul speaks the language of Nautilus, StairStepper - and aerobics about as well as English (or any other barbarian tongue). Despite all our billions spent on health care, and the sweat and the self denial, and the bland health food diets, we still die younger. And some would say that at the end of this journey, we didn't enjoy the scenery nearly as much as the average French peasant.
This situation has been dubbed "The French Paradox" and was made famous in November 1991, when CBS's Morley Safer explored the matter on an episode of 60 Minutes.
In reality, the whole bubbling cauldron of contradictions should be labeled "The American Paradox" because we have, at our everyday convenience, all of the means to match and surpass the French levels of joie de vivre and health success. But we refuse to recognize or do anything about them, partly because the answers seem too simple, partly because our health philosophy focuses on intervention rather than prevention and partly because of hysterical opposition to alcohol consumption in any quantity at all. For the reality is that health is on the plate and in the glass; it's just politically incorrect to recognize those facts.