What the world eats

Eating tips for Americans from other countries

It’s no secret that Americans have some health issues. We’re the most obese nation in the developed world, a condition that, when you compare it to the leaner nations on the planet, is arguably the result of the American culture of fast food and sedintary living. Recently, Readers Digest surveyed nutritionists and writers from around the world to get a sense of how the different customs of other countries might be helping to contribute to the leaness of their populace.

Country Their lean custom Why it works
Thailand Eat spicy foods. Raises metabolism and makes you eat slower.
United Kingdom Say “no” to supersizing. Reduces caloric intake.
Brazil Side of rice and beans. Low fat + high fiber = stable blood-sugar level.
Poland Eat at home. Less high-fat, -sodium, -sugar foods.
Germany Eat full breakfast. Starving your body early inflates brain’s reward response to high-calorie items later in the day.
Netherlands Ride bikes everywhere. Burn calories vs. sitting in a car and burning none.
France Eat and talk with friends and family. Not only do the French eat much smaller portions, but they also take much longer to do it and feel full earlier.
Malaysia Add turmeric. The spice contains curcumin, which slows growth of fat tissue and aids in fat-burning.
Japan Take a power nap. Adequate sleep helps keep hormone levels in balance.
Mexico A big midday meal. A big mid-afternoon meal means less eating at night (which can make you wake up more hungry).