The Dutch deserve to be fat.
There is only one thing saving them from the North American greased slide into obesity oblivion.
The first is genetics; the average male in The Netherlands is 6′ 3/4″, while the female measures in at 5′ 6 1/2″. Compare that to the Canadian averages, where the average woman is 5′ 3 1/2″ and the male is 5′ 8 1/2″. Obviously this takes in the huge ethnic diversity here, because I can honestly say I have never seen more tall women and men sporting blonde hair.
The second, very obvious reason, at least here in Amsterdam, is bikes. In Vancouver, Canada, we think we’re leading the country in bike usage. It’s probably true, but in comparison to Amsterdam? We’re babies in the bike world.
To cross a street here, I must fully employ every sense.
If I don’t get my 5′ 10 1/2″ self slammed by a streetcar, masses of pedestrians or a zillion cyclists who slow down for no one, well…let’s just say that either I’ve grabbed the 6′ 2″ Kevin Redl to safety or he’s hauled me out of the path of a texting-cycling-Dutchman.
I think the Dutch figure if they can survive that rigorous testing each day then they deserve a big fat cone of frites, some pannekoeken, waffles, poffertjes or any other dough-based fried thing they can lay their hands on.
Plus, like the rest of Europe, elevators aren’t usually an option. One walks, cycles and then walks up five flights to the teeny-tiny apartment home.
Between the adrenalin-addiction, the bicycling and whatever it is that kicks in the tall gene…it is obvious that I have found my tribe:
Bike-enamoured, dough-loving, tall people.