Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 11 October 2009





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French ministers fight fat for Sarkozy

Out with the red wine and foie gras: half the French cabinet are fighting the fat to please their clean-living boss President Nicolas Sarkozy and his supermodel wife, a top nutritionist has said.

Sarkozy is said to have lost seven kilos (15 pounds) in the two years since taking office, and the mix of a punishing diet, gruelling work-outs and a high pressure job was blamed for causing him to collapse while jogging this summer.

Coached by the sylph-like first lady Carla Bruni, the slimline president appears to have kicked off a health craze in the cabinet, where before-and-after shots show several ministers to have melted.Most spectacular is the transformation of Brice Hortefeux, the interior minister and lifelong Sarkozy friend, who was reported this week to be on a draconian diet of soup, low-fat yoghurt and red berries.

But he is not alone in watching his waistline, according to Jean-Michel Cohen, a star nutritionist who says he counts several ministers and a host of other politicians among VIP clients at his diet clinic in the Paris suburbs.

"It's a well known syndrome. People copy their boss and in this case the boss has lost weight, he is watching his image," Cohen told AFP. "Half a dozen ministers are on a diet. It's all done very discreetly.

"Our clients used to be 25- to 50-year-old women. Then there was the wave of artists and TV journalists," he said. "Now it's politicians both men and women, who are even sending their children."



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