A new survey has revealed that French teenagers prefer traditional home-cooked food and the curves that go with it.
No matter what social background they come from, French teenagers still like traditional dishes such as bouillabaisse, fish stew from Provence, choucroute, the Alsatian sauerkraut, veal saute and strong cheeses.
AdvertisementAccording to scientists, who spent three years interviewing 500 adolescents, the teenagers also favoured sit-down family meals, especially when cooked by their grandparents.
Gallic worries were allayed further when the study cast doubt on the assumption that thin models had become icons for a fashion-conscious youth.
The teenagers tended to reject Kate Moss as an example of beauty, citing instead the pop star Beyonce and Amel Bent, the French singer.
Dorothee Guilhem, an anthropologist at the National Centre for Scientific Research, said that French teenage boys were attracted mainly to women who looked as though they liked their food.
"Feminine corporal portliness is not necessarily judged to be ugly by the boys," Times Online quoted her as saying.
"For a woman, it's normal to have a bit of fat. It's a sign of good health," she quoted a 19-year-old boy as saying.
Veronique Pardo, an anthropologist with the Observatory of Eating Habits, and the co-ordinator of the study, compared the difference between French and British teens.
"There is a real difference with Britain in that socioeconomic factors are far less significant here," she said.
"The idea of a structured family meal is very present for French adolescents from all backgrounds. Of course, the revenue of the family determines what they eat to an extent, but not in the same way that it does in Britain," she stated.
The study contradicts the belief that France was following the US and Britain on the road to obesity and eating disorders.