The observant American would notice 2 things upon their arrival to Croatia (and the same is certainly true in other eastern European countries if not the rest of the world). 1. People are generally thinner here and 2. There are far fewer McDonald’s and virtually no other fast-food joints in the country. The two are related.
A year ago I came back to Croatia after an extended stay in the States. I was aware of the fact that I wouldn’t get things like Dunkin Donuts coffee or my supersize chicken McNugget meal when I got here so I stocked up before I left. I’ve never been a huge weight watcher, so I didn’t really keep track of what I gained. But I did weigh myself before leaving America and remember being surprised.
Three months after being back in Croatia I weighed myself again. Due to having more free time I had been walking more, so I figured I would have lost some weight. Much to my surprise I found that I had lost 20 pounds without even trying! In fact I still ate things like chips, popcorn and ice-cream quite regularly. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until they showed Supersize Me here on Croatian TV.
After viewing the documentary I immediately realized what had happened. I had been weaned off of the fast food I had been eating around 2 or 3 times a week and it had taken the pounds right off. Obviously the walking had something to do with it too, but people here generally walk more than they do in America, so I really wasn’t doing anything different than the average Croatian citizen.
It just goes to show that when you move to another culture some things are bound to change. Often the changes can be healthy.