OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

A comparison of the Chemistry Departments at Oregon State University and Ecole de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon, France Based on the French Paradox Hypothesis

TitleA comparison of the Chemistry Departments at Oregon State University and Ecole de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon, France Based on the French Paradox Hypothesis
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsIon, Christian V.
Academic DepartmentChemistry, College of Science
Thesis AdvisorKrause, Dr. Joseph
DegreeHonors Bachelors of Arts in International Studies in Chemistry
Number of Pages87
Date Published06/2003
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsChemistry, comparison, Coronary heart disease, France, French Paradox, wine
Abstract

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the number one killer of Americans, but it has little effect on the French who maintain the second lowest CDH mortality in the world. The concern about CHD in the United States was highlighted in 1991 by the American media that gave as explanation for this great difference between the two countries this idea of the French Paradox- the French eat a lot of fatty foods but they drink a lot of red wine that helps them maintain a low CDH rate. Since then many scientists acquired an interest in the subject. This thesis reviews the different scientific views on the subject. Furthermore, French and American subjects of different ages at a university level were interviewed about their drinking, eating and exercising habits to determine if there indeed exist different patters between the two populations as implied in the literature findings. It was expected from literature to find a diet and exercising pattern that was healthier for the French. Surprisingly, the overall findings show almost similar patterns between the two nationalities at a university level with a slightly healthier pattern for the Americans. This paper also addresses opinions on why this French Paradox idea was introduced, giving as examples the wine industry and the white American elite. Suggestions are provided for future focuses of study that might better help in the urgent fight against CHD in the United States.