Wrangling With French Wine Consumption
France has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Europe largely attributed to wine (with just over 50% of the country’s total alcohol consumption). This past Monday, the public health agency and the National Institute of Cancer (INCa) launched a national campaign, with recommendations for the maximum daily intake of alcohol of two glasses per day on non consecutive days. Currently, alcohol is the second-biggest cause for preventable deaths in France after tobacco, killing over 40,000 people each year.
Previously, the daily limit had been set at 2 glasses per day for women and 3 glasses per day for men.
France’s relationship with alcohol has been a long embroiled one as the first-ever campaign to try to get the French to reduce their alcohol consumption in the mid-1950s and encouraged the French to “drink less than a liter of alcohol per meal.” Oddly enough, it wasn’t until 1956 that France banned the serving of alcohol to children under the age of 14 in the school canteens. Prior to that, school children had the right to drink half a liter of wine, cider or beer with their meals. It was only in 1981 that France implemented a total alcohol ban in the country’s schools.
It is safe to say, however, that this recommendation is not going over well with everyone as even France’s Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume suggested that wine “ isn’t like other alcohols” and rarely the cause of binge drinking amongst the youth. “Alcohol addiction is a real problem, notably among young people with binge drinking and so on,” Guillaume said, blaming the problem rather on hard liquor.
French President Emmanuel Macron similarly found himself a target of criticism last year after telling journalists that he drinks wine with both lunch and dinner and has announced that he had no plans to tighten the laws on alcohol advertising during his presidency.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how the public health agency and the National Institute of Cancer are Wrangling With French Wine Consumption. What are your thoughts on these new recommendations? Join the conversation below!