Talk:French paradox

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I can't find the word obesity in the article![edit]

There's only one occurrence of the word obesity in this article, about infantile obesity. It is definitely silly to make a very long page talking about the speculative influence of the amount of saturated fats in the diet when the incidence of obesity is so disparately different between the two countries!!! I mean... we are talking about a 30% decrease of CAD in France when the obese in France are 11% instead of 33% in the USA. Doesn't this ring any bell??? (and all the overweights are ~75% in the USA and ~30% in France)!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

French diet rich in saturated fats?[edit]

I'm pretty dubious about the truth behind the French diet being rich in saturated fats (comparatively to other Western countries). I suspect that this belief arises from the mistaken idea that typical French meals are like haute cuisine or cuisine bourgeoise, whereas they are generally less fatty. David.Monniaux 20:25, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

My understanding is that some regions of France have a diet very very rich in saturated fats -- I want to say the south of France, but I'm not sure. If I can think of it, I'll do some research (one of Jeffrey Steingarten's books has a section about the Paradox in which he mentions the regional angle). --Neschek 17:58, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Normandy (butter, cream) and the southwest (goose fat) come to mind. However, today, most people do not eat "traditional" heavy food that often. David.Monniaux 21:55, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Certainly the South West, where goose fat is the primary fat, and the north where butter is dont really correspond to the "Meditterranean diet" of olive oil that was often assumed to be the cause of healthiness. But whether there is actually more fat than the British diet of chips is unclear... Justinc 19:28, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree with David, my anecdotal evidence suggest that French cuisine consumed daily is far less rich in fat than US or British. There may be some confusion between what is served in French restaurants and what people cook at home. A —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Ummm... who cares what YOU think! Isn't the purpose here to discuss the contents of the article, or its authorship, and whether or not the article is referencing verifiable sources of information? Your anecdotal observations, musings, agree/disagree, etc, etc, is fine fodder for some online forum, but that's not what this talk page is here for. (talk) 10:48, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Any better sources for fat consumption than the broken links to the FAO? It's good information to have for background knowledge, but right now it's lacking in this article. I am unable to dig anything up. Organo435 28 Feb 2011 —Preceding undated comment added 21:54, 28 February 2011 (UTC).


Perhaps we should remove some of the detailed discussion of resveratrol and procyanidins from this article? It seems that the French Paradox is specifically the health of the French people despite their apparently unhealthy diet. As currently written, the article probably goes deeper into resveratrol and procyanidins than it should. These sections shoud probably be merged into Alcohol and cardiovascular disease, although the procyanidin concentration of French wines in particular seems important to the French Paradox. Thoughts? Baldeep 00:25, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

Bad Writing?[edit]

I'm bothered by the lack of skillful exposition, especially in the opening section of the article. For example:

"Although a systematic review of dietary studies concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish a causal link between consumption of saturated fats and coronary heart disease risk,[4] the discrepancies in data collection concerning French vs. American diets and disease remain unverified. "

The discrepancies IN DATA COLLECTION remain unverified? What does this sentence even mean? It's really confusing and not clear at all. (talk) 10:55, 16 January 2010 (UTC)


Although per capita French consumption of wine (most of which is red) is decreasing, it still clearly remains among the highest in the world. Qualifying this fact with the word "purportedly" requires significant evidence to the contrary.

In addition, there is consensus in the medical community that saturated fat is a major factor in coronary heart disease. Summarily dismissing the French Paradox by refuting this fact requires much more than an undocumented assertion.David Justin 16:47, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


This article needs more sources. Statements such as "Most researchers now believe that the most important ingredient is the alcohol itself." or "Other researchers believe it is the act of relaxing while drinking that causes longevity." are worthless without a source. Kickin' Da Speaker 17:39, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The link to "mireilleguiliano" doesn't work.D021317c 11:03, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


Why does no-one mention exercise in this page? Surely it is a factor? Cls14 13:03, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Time Lag Hypothesis[edit]

Could someone expand on this? Surely this would only make sense if the =re weas a changing situation - for example diet changed relatively recently, before CHD "caught up". But if this situaion has been reported since 1819, and analysed thoroughly for last few decades, then I cannot understand how 'time lag' is a factor Rupert baines (talk) 13:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


It appears that the page has been adequately referenced and cleaned up since the time tags calling for those improvements were posted in December of last year.David Justin 21:07, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Is it correct to categorize this article as a "paradox"? I think someone should change it. --Popperipopp 10:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a widely used term for this situation - eg I found this article after a reference to French Paradox in The Economist. I suggest it stays. Rupert baines (talk) 13:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Usage of Per Capita Statistics[edit]

I stumbled upon this page today and am having issue with the second paragraph under the Alcohol in wine header. Everything I've read (including this article) makes it very clear that only moderate drinkers receive anything like a health benefit from alcohol. The thought is that the majority of French drinkers are in fact moderate drinkers.[citation needed] Comparing per capita statistics to the US and any other country is absurd. Different cultures treat alcohol very differently. We in the US may consume 8.4L per person in a year. But 50% of the populace is consuming the other 50%'s share. I view this paragraph as original research and think it should be removed. marnues (talk) 09:47, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

attention: per capita alcohol consumption is not per capita wine consumption (as mentioned), wine consumption in France is ~50 l/head&anno. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:33, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps they eat more apples?[edit]

Apples contain on average per volume about five times the amount of proanthocyanidin found in wine, with the highest amounts in the Red Delicious and Granny Smith varities. Hammerstone J. F. et al Journal of Nutrition. 2000;130:2086S-2092S (talk) 17:18, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a reference specifically linking the French paradox to apple eating? If not, please see WP:NOR. But while we're at it, apple consumption in France is highly unlikely to be above that of northern and central Europe. Only the north of France is really "apple-land" with Normandy a famous origin of French cider and calvados. Tomas e (talk) 09:32, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

This article itself says that it is proanthocyanidin rather than reservatol which seems to be the important ingrediant in wine. The above excerpt shows that you get several times more proanthocyanidin by eating an apple than by drinking a glass of wine (with all its health dangers). My point was that it may therefore be better current health advice to eat apples rather than drink wine. This is collating research, not original reasearch.

Did you realise that in your second sentance you warn against original research, yet your third and fourth sentances are original research as far as I can see?

If you can remember the 60s and 70s, little fruit and veg was eaten at least in the UK. Its quite likely that more apples and other fruit and veg was eaten by the French during that time, contributing to their longevity now. And even in the 19th century they may have had a more varied diet than that in Britain or the US. Perhaps there are some papers somewhere about this. (talk) 23:28, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

As far as I can read my previous note I did not advocate the introduction or major change of any statements of the article, so I can not see how I have introduced any original research into the article. I do however caution that articles reporting chemical contents in individual foodstuffs do not translate to population level epidemiological conclusions just like that (which my comments were meant to illustrate). If you wish to introduce a claim on the cause of the French paradox, it must come from a reliable source from which you quote this claim. Please refer to WP:NOR and WP:RS. Tomas e (talk) 21:47, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
"I did not advocate the introduction or major change of any statements of the article, so I can not see how I have introduced any original research into the article." Neither did I, Sir. (talk) 14:52, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Good that we seem to agree, although I must say you're awfully active on the talk page for someone who basically don't want to change the article. :-) Tomas e (talk) 18:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

This article sponsored by the Wine Marketing Board[edit]

It does read as if the core of the article had been written by the Wine Marketing Board. (talk) 23:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Not as far as I can see - how did you come to that conclusion? Do marketeers usually include phrases like "However, some health researchers question the validity of this paradox" or multiple references? Do any parts of the article fall short of fulfilling WP:RS or WP:NPOV? Usually when we have problems with marketing people it is by not following WP:EL which does not seem to apply here. Tomas e (talk) 21:53, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Vitamin D as a possible explaination[edit]

France stretches from the Britain down to the Med. Top part cloudy, southern part sunny. So the recently made-known health benefits of Vitamin D (see long article in Scientific American, November 2007) may account for some of the effect. And I recall reading something that claimed just that. (talk) 14:56, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

"It has been claimed"??[edit]

"However, more recently it has been claimed that several times this amount of procyanidin can be consumed by eating an apple.[13]" I think it is rather unreasonable to insert "more recently it has been claimed" into this sentance, when the evidence comes from proper peer-reviewed scientific research published a few years ago. So I am going to change it back to how it was: "However several times this amount of procyanidin can be consumed by eating an apple.[13]" Sorry, tipplers. (talk) 15:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Another possible explaination for the French paradox[edit]


The above article also mentions the Leningrad paradox and the Albanian paradox - it says Albanians have both the lowest consumption of wine in Europe, and the lowest incidence of CHD - contradicting the French paradox.

A point to bear in mind is that since "French paradox" is a pop term, and perhaps not even factually true, then there isnt going to be much serious scientific research that uses the terminology "french paradox", so it may never ever be scientifically confirmed or debunked. (talk) 01:06, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Cheese is rich in animal fat![edit]

"French people get up to 80% of their fat intake from dairy and vegetable sources, including whole milk, cheeses, and whole milk yoghurt. Conversely, they consume very little animal fat."

Whole milk, cheeses, and whole milk yoghurt are rich in animal fats!! Fats such as olive oil contain no animal fat. nirvana2013 (talk) 15:00, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


I am surprised that none of these studies observed that the French also consume more garlic than most other people. According to the citations in the garlic article, garlic has been shown to provide cardiovascular benefits, which may have more to do with the French incidence of heart disease than their consumption of wine. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:01, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Where did you find this information ? It is just a cliché.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
What's a cliché? That French cuisine contains more garlic than most others?
The point is that these studies seem to focus on wine and ignore the larger picture of the French diet. An observed inverse correlation between red wine consumption and heart disease doesn't imply a cause-and-effect relationship. The garlic article has sources that do indicate such a relationship. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:33, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


It seems to me like most of the second paragraph of the introduction would function quite nicely as a separate section antitled "controversy" or something like that. I mean the part:

However, some health researchers question the validity of this paradox. A systematic review of dietary studies found insufficient evidence of any association of saturated fats and coronary heart disease.[4] Statistics collected by the WHO from 1990–2000 show that the incidence of heart disease in France may have been underestimated, and may in fact be similar to that of neighboring countries.

Independovirus (talk) 11:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Comment by johny radio, The section titled "Validity" is incorrectly titled, because it does not question the validity the article above it. It is in AGREEMENT with the rest of the article-- that the better french health is due to lower consumption of trans fats. The section should be titled "further evidence" not "validity".

Comment by Dr. Sykerö: This is the most important paragraph in my opinion. As an European, I dont see such thing as French Paradox, only biased nonsense. As the user Independovirus already mentioned with his reference, there is no paradox with the saturated fats. There is however an "american paradox" - the question is why americans get fat and acquire CHD:s. This should be kept in mind while editing this further. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:50, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was to move the page per the discussion. Camw (talk) 01:11, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

  • French paradoxFrench Paradox — The vast majority of sources refer to it as The French Paradox, as opposed to any number of French paradoxes which do not have their own article. --PirateArgh!!1! 05:08, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • What are those other French paradoxes? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:13, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure I understand the argument either. Here's another one though: The French Paradox is the French Paradox as opposed to a French paradox. -- (talk) 01:02, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I think Pirate was being sarcastic in implying that there really aren't any other French paradoxes out there, which the lower case "p" would seem to indicate-i.e. List of French paradoxes, etc. The subject of this article is really the only topic that has ever been referred to as a "French Paradox" with both words almost universally capitalized. AgneCheese/Wine 01:09, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself -- that's why I didn't. :) -- (talk) 01:14, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Ouch, I should have checked here first, but I moved this to the lowercase "p" based on the fact that the article uses that version. Lash me with a limp strand of hot mozzarella if I did wrong. Huw Powell (talk) 04:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

No problem, I reverted your move. The terminology in the article should really be changed to use an uppercase P to be consistent with most of the sources out there. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:44, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Another source[edit]

Stumbled over that one: doi:10.1177/146642409511500404, maybe you can use it. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 10:29, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Statistical collision[edit]

The Hebrew version of this page states that the rates of death due to coronary heart disease in the US (in 1999, among males aged 35-74) were 230 per 100,000 people, whereas this page states that there were 115 deaths per 100,000 people - exactly half. I have no idea which is correct, but maybe the editor who came up with the statistics in the first place could check that. 11:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Saturated fat isn't bad for you[edit]

The "French Paradox" isn't really a paradox at all now that we're pulling ourselves free from the myth that saturated fat intake really has anything at all to do with heart disease and recognizing that refined sugars (which have increased in the Western diet since the induced fear of fat, as have obesity and heart disease) are the more likely villains. Of course, the media always lags behind the science. That saturated fat has been a prosecuted innocent could almost be said to be "well known" among nutrition researchers now, but I'm not sure that's true in the population as a whole. If someone is interested in collecting the proper citations, it would probably be valuable to have some mention of this issue here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Please can you give the citations for that? I for one am eager to read the evidence on which that is based, as it contradicts the consensus medical opinion of recent decades. Thanks (talk) 15:37, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
The BBC, in 2014, did an expose on their TV show "Horizons." It was about eating meat. Research shows the possible cause of heart disease is from a chemical in red meats called L-Carnitine. The "bugs" which live in your gut love to consume protein. When they consume that red meat protein with the L-Carnitine, they excrete a compound called TMAO which strips your body's ability to keep from plaque sticking to your arteries. Trentc (talk) 18:28, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Here is a recent study [1]. There are literally dozens of papers linking sugar intake to high colesterol and CV disease. Maybe it's about time to reflect this in the article, which the way it is written gives the misimpression this is still a mystery. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:11, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Along those lines, the French get most of their beef and dairy from pastured cattle, while Americans get beef and dairy from corn-fed feedlot cattle. There's ample evidence that the former is far healthier than the latter. (talk) 21:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 2012[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 06:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

French ParadoxFrench paradox

WP does not normally cap rules, theorems, laws, principles, paradoxes, etc.

Per WP:MOSCAPS ("Wikipedia avoids unnecessary capitalization") and WP:TITLE. Lowercase will match the formatting of related article titles. Tony (talk) 06:36, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Oppose. I undid your previous move to lowercase because you were evidently unaware of prior discussion on this matter, and apparently unaware of the actual topic of this article. You can find it above. This article is not about paradoxes that are French, it is about the French Paradox as described in most reliable sources. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:51, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I was quite aware of it, and you should not have undone my move without discussion. Tony (talk) 06:55, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
You should not have made the move in the first place without discussion, because a discussion had already taken place. Your move log shows that you renamed this article during a large run of other renamings that you did, the vast majority of which were correct. The rather short time intervals between your moves did not suggest that you were aware of any prior discussion regarding this French Paradox article. I went through your whole move log. For the most part I thought you did a good batch of work there. Only a handful (a tiny fraction of your renames) needed correcting. This was one. ~Amatulić (talk) 08:07, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much, but don't change my heading. Tony (talk) 10:54, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Re: heading - there's another section on this page called "Requested move". That confuses the RM bot, so it needs a different title. Dohn joe (talk) 19:37, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
It's OK to go through and move articles for conformity with Wikipedia's style guidelines (like WP:MOSCAPS). They justify and support such a program of improvement. If any of those moves is questioned, then it can all be sorted out with an RM, right? In the present case, the guidelines clearly support the uncapped version. It is no counter-argument that it is the French paradox. We don't cap the title of Second law of thermodynamics because it is the second law of thermodynamics! NoeticaTea? 22:21, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course it's OK to do this. What isn't OK is to rename an article after a consensus appears to have been established for capitalization, on the basis that most sources capitalize it even if some don't. I'm not saying that's actually the case, I'm just saying this was discussed earlier, above. It's fine if consensus goes the other way, but remember, a guideline like MOS:CAPS does not trump a policy like WP:RS. If most reliable sources refer to it one way, that's a reason for Wikipedia to do so as well. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:49, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no question of any provisions trumping any others, here. WP:RS is about the content of articles: their verifiability by, and conformity with, the content of existing published sources. WP:MOS and its associated pages are about style. That's a completely separate matter, treated as separate by all who publish, anywhere. Wikipedia is no exception to that. (Many editors fail to understand this, and it needs desperately to be clarified at some central location.) Again, there is no serious conflict of principles. Wikipedia's Manual of Style is derived from reliable sources: best-practice style in the most relevant reliable sources, including especially other major style guides, with suitable adaptation to a unique online collaborative editing environment. Best discussed elsewhere, if further discussion is needed. NoeticaTea? 23:25, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
An important point to make here is that it is clearly not wrong in any absolute sense to lowercase the p—we know this because many of the sources don't capitalize it. The argument has to be based on something else other than what is right or wrong. In other words, the subject being the French Paradox instead of just any old French paradox is irrelevant—again, it's clear from usage in sources that lowercase is at least acceptable. Instead, we need to focus on our house style, whether we should take into account other publishers' styles when they differ from ours if that ever makes sense to do, etc. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 01:16, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I have struck my opposition in light of more thorough examination of the sources, which was apparently more cursory in the prior renaming discussion. ~Amatulić (talk) 02:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Support—Many of the reliable sources in the article don't capitalize it, so it seems pretty clear that it is at lease OK not to capitalize. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 19:45, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support. The guidelines at WP:MOSCAPS would have this uncapped, and as usual this is backed up by "reliable sources". No surprise there; that's how WP's style guidelines work. NoeticaTea? 22:21, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support – overwhelmingly lower case in books, according to n-grams. Dicklyon (talk) 08:29, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
will show that the same search texts show up in both sets. Even without this problem, many books will use both forms. As for the guideline: this is an unjustified interpretation of a vague phrase in the lead. Nobody other than these three editors read it that way, and it is strongly objected to, here and elsewhere.JCScaliger (talk) 00:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, n-grams are unreliable, but I did click through and look, and most hits are good. You'd have to knock off 60% of the lower-case ones to get close to a tie; in the first page of 2008 book hits, all 10 are on-topic, and 6 of 10 use lower case; on the second page of hits, 9 are relevant and 8 of those are lower-case. And of course many books do use the term both ways, as one is often in a heading or caption where they use a style of capitalization that is, based on the other uses, obviously unnecessary. Or, as in this book, "The French Paradox" is the brand name of a resveratrol pill, while the paradox itself is given in lower case. Dicklyon (talk) 02:01, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Do we need the disputed text in the guideline? The sources seem to overwhelmingly use lowercase. I checked a few of your search results; can you point to any that show up when you search for "the French paradox" that use uppercase in a sentence-case context? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 06:09, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
No problem; the third hit on the search results capitalizes, and so do many others. One problem with the search results on both sides is the predominance of diet books; but this appears to be a reliable source.JCScaliger (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Maybe they are just less stressed in France. Maybe they enjoy life more. Hmm... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Bad image choice[edit]

How is Brie de Meaux relevant to the article? It isn't even referred anywhere in the article except the image caption. Furthermore, why should the AOC designation be referred too? The AOC is surely irrelevant. The Brie de Meaux is also irrelevant. If it isn't, the article should explain how this cheese represents the French paradox. It doesn't. Much better to replace the image with a map of France. Χρυσάνθη Λυκούση (talk) 07:44, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

"Cheese" is mentioned several times in the article. I think the caption explains the relevance of the image now. A map of France would be relevant to an article about the country, or the physical part of Europe the country occupies, but doesn't illuminate the French paradox in any way. Paradoctor (talk) 13:27, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Has research been done to see if the paradox is actually a negation of the hypothesis?[edit]

The hypothesis, CHD is caused by animal fat seems to be negated by this evidence. Is there a citation for this that can be found? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Third possibility[edit]

The second paragraph lists two possibilities. But should not a third possibility be added, that the French do not or have not eaten as much saturated fat as people suppose? For example I have read somewhere that the French eat smaller portion sizes than other western countries and thus stay slimmer. This possibility has already been discussed on this page above. And as an aside, I understand that wine or other alcoholic drinks are now thought not to increase longevity overall, as whatever CHD protection they give is more than offset by the cancer-inducing effects of the alcohol. (talk) 12:13, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

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