Friday, December 23, 2011

How Us Dutch People Stay Slim Except When We Live In America

A few days ago on one of my other blogs I lamented about how my Dutch genetics cause me to be able to gain weight with little effort.

A Dutch dike fixer, calling him or herself "Slow Leak," pointed me to an article about why the Dutch stay so slim, titled "How the Dutch Stay Slim."

You can read the article to learn the 8 secrets nutritionist Mandy Dunlop believes help the Dutch win the battle of the bulge.

I pretty much do the 8 Dutch secrets, for the most part. Yet I still way too easily gain weight. I think this may be because I am in America, not in Holland.

I thought the comments that this article generated were amusing and made some interesting observations, like the first one, with a reference to Wal-Mart....

JSK posted: 2011-08-29 15:58:14

As someone who has spend ample time is both the us and the netherlands, i have some observations. I do not think dutch people are particularily slim but they weigh less than americans *on average* plus there is a lot less variation between people (that is: dutch people are more average in general). So if i walk around on a american college campus there are more slim people (esp. women) than on a campus in the netherlands. However, in the american Walmart you see huge people the size of which you would very rarely observe in the Netherlands. 

Why the average American weight is higher than the Dutch average, has to do with food and lifestyle, but not in the flattering way most people in the Netherlands think. Americans drive and eat more, but the reason is that automobiles are far more affordable and American food is a lot tastier (the supermarket freezer pizza of the brand "Digorno" is superior to Dutch restaurant pizza, for example). Place a dutch person in the U.S. and he'll gain 10 kilograms in no time (i'm speaking from experience).

buitenlander posted: 2011-08-09 11:28:12

are you joking? Dutch and slim are two words that should not be put together in one sentence... :)

barbara posted: 2011-08-10 09:19:11

My Dutch husband is slim, rides his bike 2 hours a day, eats bread and cheese for breakfast and lunch, and large amount of potatoes for dinner. All of my Dutch relatives and friends are slim, and I credit this to their bike riding and a moderate amount of food. Some may disagree; I am stating what I know as fact, not a global statement that ALL Dutch people are a certain way. But while living in Holland for ten years I saw more slim than fat people. When I left in 2006, I noticed some were gaining weight, but also were biking less and eating more fast foods or in restaurants.

the thinker posted: 2011-08-10 09:50:14

I think its genetics - Dutch people are tall and have lean muscles. They are not that predisposed to be fat the same way they are not predisposed to be well build. You can hardly see a really well build Dutchman as they have small bones and chests.

CW posted: 2011-08-10 11:22:29

I gained 10 kilos after I moved to Holland, eating a Dutch diet and cycling. Let's face it, tall skinny Dutch people marry tall skinny Dutch people and have tall skinny Dutch kids! It's in the DNA. 

are posted: 2011-08-10 13:43:28

This entire thing is hilarious. The Dutch are getting fatter by the day, and the problem is so huge (no pun intended) that it has entered Parliamentary discussions. I am sometimes astounded at how fat some of the women are -- easily as fat as my fellow Americans in the US. And I am equally frustrated by the fact that there are so few Dutch women who are actually thin. The vast majority are overweight to some extent, even if not obese. 

And if you read the recipes in the Allerhande, which guides so many Dutch family meals, it's easy to see why. VERY low nutritional value, VERY high fat content, and generally about 1000 calories PER MEAL. Nutrition is an unknown in the Netherlands, and it's not getting better - it's getting worse. Fat pigs.

ustanother posted: 2011-08-10 15:41:42

This article is a big joke! 
Dutch eat no fruit and no vegetables. They eat the same sandwich every day, with butter, cheese and surrogate of ham. How can you call this healthy. Then the funny part is that according to the article one thing that helps is the fact that they drink black coffee instead of milk and coffee...but then at every meal they drink milk instead of water!!! Come on!

Laura posted: 2011-08-11 11:29:40

Well written article but I beg to differ. I don't think the Dutch are paricularly slim! In fact, kind of the opposite. Lot's of tummy hidden behind the large shirts and sweaters, and the ever expandable leggings, hmm. My obersvation is this: they eat on the run, snack quite a bit - even which biking, and their market baskets are often filled with typical junk food. I am not sure if I would follow your suggestions for a healthy diet. Too much dairy and too much caffeine are the red flags for me.