The reason? Oh, just everything that plagues us here: TV watching, driving to school and work instead of walking, soda. As the story notes, the French have long used cigarettes and drink as potent stress relievers, but increasingly they are turning from deadly smokes to junk food to relieve stress.
The business opportunity? Most French designers and clothing boutiques cater to women only up to size 14. As the NPR story notes, 45 percent of French women are now size 16 and above.