Although France is known for its exquisite and healthy food, it has no escape from “le snacking” and the rise of obesity.
According to EU statistics, France suffers less from obesity than any other European nation, but in the last years fast-food chains such as McDonald’s become more and more popular and the authorities have been alarmed by a steep rise in weight in recent years. Ministers want people to concentrate on fresh food and vegetables and to increase the amount of exercise they take.
The French are now consuming so much fat, salt and sugar that all advertisements for products considered unhealthy will, from today, be accompanied by health warnings. Manufacturers must display one of the messages on broadcast commercials and print and internet adverts or pay a fine of 1.5 per cent of their total advertising budget to a national health fund. The messages designed to convey rules for healthy living will include:
- “For your health…”
- “…avoid eating food with too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt.”
- “…avoid snacking between meals.”
- “…eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day”
- “…undertake regular physical activity.”
Patrick Serog, a nutritionist, said that the Health Ministry’s intentions were good but the messages were confusing. He told The Times that
“When a commercial for a sugary product shows the message saying that you should not eat sugar, that suggests that the product does not contain sugar. It’s ambiguous and the food industry will play on that ambiguity”.
This may just work, because McDonald’s and other big food groups committed on improving the nutritional quality of their products in France.
- Coca Cola has undertaken to reduce its sugar level in drinks by 15%;
- Danone undertook to stop putting sugar in its Slimwaist yogurts.
- McDonald’s France is promoting sports, reducing fatty acids in its frying oil and cutting salt in its children’s menus by 30 percent.
Source: The Telegraph
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Filed under: Nutrition, Steaming diets by Nessie