One thing I noticed straighaway in Germay and Ireland — well, every time I’ve gone overseas too — is the people. A typical German’s diet is very meat-centered (hence my childhood). There is meat with everything. And it’s not the lean stuff either – this is full fat real deal meat. I don’t know how a vegetarian would survive, as most of the entrees are pork and beef. With that being said, everyone there is thin – most young people look like they stepped out of a catelog. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fair amount of people with an extra 20+ pounds, but no one is morbidly obese. Of course once in a blue moon you’d find someone who is, as expected (The General and I wondered: Is that a foreigner?). But it was a rare sight, so different from America.
I couldn’t figure out how there was all this fatty food and all these normal sized people. It really hit home when I walked through Wal-Mart yesterday: everyone was obese. I think it really comes down to Europe is not as dependent on the automobile as we are here, and they actually use portion control there — here it’s more of an afterthought if thought of at all. We did find one place that had the fattest people: the airport gate in Ireland with people returning the USA. They were all Americans. Now I’m not one to point out someone’s weight, but it was so obvious, it was almost comical. And I’m not saying this to say we’re better or to put people down – it is just merely an observation. And yes, I do believe some people have an honest-to-good medical condition that causes them to be overly heavy. But unless there is some American gene that causes this, I’m going to say it’s a lifestyle.
Again, cultural difference.