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French People Are Starting to Eat More Like Americans

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 7/13/2017 Elisabeth Sherman
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France has a reputation for having some of the best food in the world: Fine wine, decadent, gooey cheeses, and soft, fluffy or crusty bread, to name just a few of their specilaities. Their chefs are some of the most accomplished in the world: Paul Bocuse, Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert immediately spring to mind. But how well, exactly, does the average French person eat? They aren’t as healthy as you might imagine, a new study reveals.

ANSES, the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health and safety, released its third study on the eating habits of the French people yesterday. The organization surveyed 5,800 people (young children, teenagers, and adults as old as 79) to figure what the typical person living there eats.

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The organization found that the majority of French people eat too much salt and don’t get enough fiber, and found an increase in the amount of processed foods they're eating. They’re also eating more “raw animal products,” especially fish and beef.

Local France goes into more detail on the study. The news outlet reports that French people these indulge in too much pizza, cheesy quiche, and ready-to-eat meals. Unsurprisingly, though, the French are still devotees of cheese, poultry, cold cuts, and “dessert creams.”

Eating all that fatty – albeit delicious – food has serious consequences on their health: Since 2007, the number of obese 15- to 17-year-olds has increased six percent, while adult obesity has gone up five percent.

The country’s shifting eating habits will sound familiar to Americans: According to a 2014 study from the USDA, 1 in 8 American adults eat pizza on any given day. The next year, the CDC determined that – no surprise – 90 percent Americans eat too much salt. America is currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic: Overall, 38 percent of Americans are obese, according to the agency’s calculations of body mass index.

Does that mean that the French are starting to eat more like us Americans? Possibly. Let’s just hope both countries can focus on fresh, healthy foods – hopefully without having to give up cheese.

Gallery: This Is What People Eat in the World's 25 Healthiest Countries (Provided by The Daily Meal) #25 Malta: <p>A small island off the southern coast of Italy, Malta sits isolated in the Mediterranean Sea. Maltese cuisine is an amalgamation of the many cultures that have occupied the island throughout the centuries, and is focused on rustic preparations of seasonal foods. Because Malta is an island nation, <b><a href="https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/seafood-guide-which-are-healthiest-which-should-you-avoid">the local diet revolves around seafood</a></b>, specifically bass, stonefish, grouper, white bream, swordfish, octopus, and squid. Other <b><a href="https://www.thedailymeal.com/free-tagging-cuisine/mediterranean-diet">Mediterranean ingredients</a></b> like olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and small game like rabbit are made into stews, soups, and pies. This diet is notably absent of heavily processed carbohydrates and red meat.</p> This Is What People Eat in the World's 25 Healthiest Countries

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