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France plans to warn public about dangers of chocolate

Joshua Melvin · 19 Aug 2014, 09:27

Published: 19 Aug 2014 09:27 GMT+02:00

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Chocolate makers in France have launched a petition and social media campaign to pressure health officials into abandoning a plan to stick a logo on sweet products discouraging their consumption.

The anger is directed squarely at the sweeping proposal to overhaul France’s health regulations outlined earlier this summer by Health Minister Marisol Touraine.

One of the key features of the legislation, which hasn’t been formally introduced yet, is a colored-coded system of labels on food products that would tell consumers what’s healthy to eat.

Much like a traffic light, the labels would go from green, which is good, to red, which is for products ‘to be avoided.’

'Chocolate doesn't make you fat'

In a land where the consumption of chocolate is nearly as sacred as a glass of red wine, the idea is drawing an angry response from France’s "chocolatiers".

“This bill goes against the capacity of an individual’s discretion and the proven qualities of chocolate,” France’s chocolate maker’s union, the Confédération des Chocolatiers, Confiseurs, Biscuitiers, wrote on its petition. “This type of labelling will not reduce obesity or diabetes because chocolate doesn’t make you fat!”

Studies have shown a couple pieces of chocolate per week can lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure , especially dark chocolate with 70 percent of more cocoa. But chocolate also contains enough fat and calories that too much, too often can cause weight gain.

And though the French continue to have some of the trimmest waistlines in Europe obesity is a growing problem in France too, especially among young people.

Story continues below…

According to the OECD think tank one in 10 French people are obese, but that number is expected to grow 10 percent in the next decade.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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