…There is some twit on the Travel Channel who is constantly pounding in broiled bat and sauteed monkey brains, but he is not who the French National Dairy Council had in mind when it did a study in 2002 on Mind, Body and Health.
…First, the study found that worrying about food and eating apparently does not prevent obesity. The United States, the study observed, suffers from acute nutritional anxiety.
…They said the key is more variety in food, more information about it, and more enjoyment. Worry less, they said.
…OK, which foods are the healthiest? Despite the constant blatting about the French and wine-drinking, the British thought wine was a healthy food more often than the French.
…Europeans and Americans rated fruits and veggies highest on the health meter, followed by fish. In France, dairy beat fish. In Switzerland fish was neck and neck with cereals.
…Dairy rated higher than meat in the UK (slightly higher), France (much higher), and Switzerland (much higher).
…The importance of food to good health? Average of almost 9 out of a possible score of 10.
…Vitamin pills, though, did not rate high abroad.
…Dieting was also not considered essential to good health.
…Though eating in moderation was.
…In Germany and Italy, exercise beat out choosing healthy foods.
…Most interesting of all, eating well in the United States meant selecting the right nutrients and quantities, and not too many calories.
…In Europe, eating well meant sharing and conviviality.
…Enjoy the company and the moment, one Italian respondent said.