Some interesting concepts but it's just a stereotype. There are a lot of "overweight" people in the EU. My family is from southern italy and they're all heavy. Not the supersized folks you see waddling around walmart but they're not thin people. Some of that is probably genetics, too.
They do things differently though. Morning meal is coffee and a roll. For my grandfather he has an onion, a chunk of cheese, a roll, a cappuccino (which is for breakfast only, never later in the day) and a cigar. Lunch is pasta with veggies and protein if he happens to off something that day. Dinner is late, around 8pm and takes a while. No hurry to eat. No TV on, no books at the table. The table is set and everyone gathers around and eats and drinks (heavily). He's 95 and still gets up early to work on his land (he grows olives). Typical dinner might be a small plate of pasta with olive oil or soup, then meat, then veggies. Then fruit and cheese as a dessert. Lots of wine, some of which almost put me into the ground.
If people would switch to a diet like they have - fresh veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses, local bread - I think that we'd all shrink a good bit. I think that if you compare the concept behind the SB diet it matches plain old "healthy eating".
start: 2/18/12 - 204
goal: 4/1/12 - 195