When it comes to food and weight, the French acknowledge that theirs is a culture rife with irony. It's a paradox that's been at play for years now. Though France is arguably the gastronomic capital of the world, it's also the second largest market for McDonald's worldwide, after the US. Is it a coincidence that obesity rates in this country have also been steadily on the rise? Currently, the OECD says about 11 per cent of the population is obese, a statistic that might seem surprising given that French people — most notably women — aren't supposed to get fat. But the proliferation of fast-food joints in the country and ever-larger portion sizes and sedentary lifestyles has led the French government to work on reversing the trend, starting with a focus on the country's children. And ketchup. Last year, the ministry of agriculture and food banned ketchup in school cafeterias. The only exception: French fries. And ketchup rations are strictly limited. Like we said, it's a country rife with paradox.
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Before the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago, humans got their food by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Scientists are turning to these ancient me... More Before the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago, humans got their food by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Scientists are turning to these ancient methods of subsistence for insights into how we can feed our growing global population in years to come—without overwhelming the planet. In its September 2014 issue, National Geographic magazine explores the evolution of the human diet across a wide spectrum of cultures: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/evolution-of-diet/ By 2050 we'll need to feed two billion more people. Click here for a special eight-month series exploring how we can do that—without overwhelming the planet: http://food.nationalgeographic.com.
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