I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. The OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is an organization in Paris that determines the impact of government policies on societal habits. I read a article today which summarizes one of their reports. Not sure how they did this but the global sample size was actually pretty substantial. They found that Canadians spend an average of 70 minutes a day eating and drinking. However, 30% of Canadians have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 (that’s bad by the way). Compare this to the French, who spend an average of almost 140 minutes a day eating and drinking while only 10.5% of their population have a BMI greater than 30. The eating and drinking time differential can be attributed to the length of time you spend in Paris waiting for a server to actually notice you (and your frustrated gesturing will only make him ignore you longer). I just can’t quite figure out why the French are skinnier. With all their café au laits, croissants, vin rouge, frites and patisseries you would think their average BMI would topple the Eiffel Tower. Note to self: about time for a café au lait break, isn’t it?
But it made me think for a minute: how much time do I really spend eating and drinking per day (drive-thru and take-out dining in the car should probably not be considered). I figure I spend about 10 minutes tops at breakfast, maybe 20 minutes at lunch and I think I spend at least 30 minutes at the dinner table with my family (I know, I know – this really contradicts my previous post). So I’m certainly one bringing down the Canadian average. Note to self: fix that.
The report also measured the global differences in time spend on leisure activities (Norway takes the prize with 26.5% of their time spent leisurely on hobbies, games, TV viewing, computer, gardening, sports and socializing) and sleeping (where the French took the gâteau yet again with an average of 8 hours and 50 minutes of sleep per night).
Note to self: send resume to
2, rue André Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16
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