Dr. Carol Boushey, Associate Professor, recently visited École des Trois Ponts in Roanne, France to set the stage for a study abroad course on the French Paradox starting Spring 2008. The French paradox is the conundrum over the French consuming the same amount of fat, if not more, than people in the US and Britain, and yet the heart disease rates in France are lower. There are other aspects of their diet that are contrary to recommendations for a healthy diet, such as, higher alcohol consumption primarily in the form of wine. Although this has baffled scientists for years, the concept was popularized recently by the book, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano. This study abroad opportunity will help students capitalize on the scientific issues surrounding this controversy while simultaneously immersing students in the culture of French food and eating patterns.
Dr. Carol Boushey got the idea about this course after her daughter participated in a Spring Break French language immersion course with Dr. Becky Brown, Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literature. Upon her daughter’s return, Boushey was intrigued by her daughter’s excitement over her observations of the pervasive attitudes towards the enjoyment of eating and its place in social life. From there Boushey approached Brown and they put their heads together to plan a Spring Break course to explore the French Paradox. The course will be planned with a constructivism framework designed to focus on using information to support learners’ thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Groups of students will be assigned different aspects of the paradox to research, such as eating patterns, red wine, fats and oils, attitudes towards food and chocolate. All of the student activities will take place in and around an 18th century chateau in the heart of Burgundy.
Boushey has been working toward increasing the number of F&N students taking advantage of a study abroad experience. The short duration of this experience coupled with the excellent facilities available at the chateau and the intriguing topics will make this a popular choice among students. For more information about the French Paradox contact Carol Boushey, Ph.D., Associate Professor firstname.lastname@example.org.