Large differences exist in the frequency of overweight and obesity between France and the United States. The reasons for this situation have been addressed in the recent American scientific literature. Some of the less frequently examined factors are reviewed here from the standpoint of possible differences in psychosocial and cultural differences. The typical meal and snack patterns of French consumers, the importance of eating as a focal activity, and the role of palatability are examined from a cross-cultural perspective.
France Bellisle, DSc, is an experimental psychologist specializing in the study of all aspects of eating behaviors in humans with the Université Paris 13, Bobigny, France.
The author received no honorarium for writing this paper. In the past 36 months, the author has participated in scientific advisory panels for General Mills, IGLO, the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), and the International Sweeteners Association (ISA). In the past 36 months, the author has received writing or speaking honoraria and travel grants from General Mills, IGLO, EUFIC, ISA, the International Life Sciences Institute, Mondelez, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Créabio, Protéines, and Nutritionellement.
Correspondence: France Bellisle, DSc, Université Paris 13, Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle, INSERM (U1153), INRA (U1125), CNAM, CRNH Ile-de-France, SMBH, 74 rue Marcel Cachin, 93017 Bobigny, France (firstname.lastname@example.org).