As a TV piece* last night argued, being fat, French and forty is mostly an oxymoron despite the fats, cream, oil and drinking so prevalent in their diet.
So why dont' they get fat, and why are their hearts so healthy? As the healthy hearts of Frenchmen and a recent book 'French Women Don't Get Fat' both suggest, a lifestyle that sucks the marrow out of life is good for you.
France might be one of the most heavily-regulated countries in the world -- on paper -- but, far from taking seriously all the anti-fun killjoys as we do down here in the South Pacific, when it comes to personal freedoms Frenchmen and women ignore the wowsers and get on with enjoying their pleasures, and they do it with gusto.
And it turns out it's good for them. Here's a case where 50 million Frenchmen actually can't be wrong.
* I think the piece was on TV3's 'Sixty Minutes,' but I can't remember for sure.