Young French people's 'risky' thirst for alcohol revealed in new study

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Young French people's 'risky' thirst for alcohol revealed in new study
Photo: AFP

A new study by the French government has revealed that many French people particularly among the younger generation have a dangerous drinking habit.


Some 200,000 people between the ages of 18 to 64 were interviewed as part of the survey commissioned by an inter-ministerial mission against drugs and alcohol dependency.

The most worrying result of the survey, published by Europe1 radio, was that some 36 percent of men under the age of 35, so more than a third of men, drink alcohol to a level considered "at risk".

In other words their drinking habits are are considered dangerous to their health and they could even be considered as dependent on alcohol, Europe1 writes.

When it comes to women some 15 percent of under 35s admitted to having a drinking habit that could be considered at risk. 

For health authorities a risky level of alcohol consumption is over 10 alcoholic drinks a week or two or more each day.

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The study also revealed that those working in all kinds of sectors and at all levels were at risk.

In other words the notion that those working in poor skilled labouring or factory jobs were more at risk than engineers, or managers is not accurate.

"You are alone in your kitchen, and you think you've had a tough day and it feels like a reward and a way to unwind from the work, managing the house, doing the shopping" Sophia, a commercial executive in the pharmaceutical industry, told Europe1 radio.

The study showed that both men and women working in sales and business who dealt with the public on a daily basis were most likely to drink alcohol to a risky level.

In recent years French authorities have taken steps to crackdown on binge drinking among young people and in 2016 introduced restrictions on happy hours.

France rolls out new rules for 'Happy Hours' in bars and pubs

The subject of alcohol consumption in France has been a controversial topic in recent weeks especially when it comes to the country's sacred tipple wine.

The country's health minister Agnes sparked a row earlier this year when she accused the wine industry of practising “double standards” by marketing the drink as a soft alcohol.

"The wine industry today claims wine is different from other types of alcohol,” she told France 2.
“In terms of public health, it is exactly the same thing to drink wine, beer, vodka, whiskey, there is zero difference.
"French people have been told wine is the safe option, that it will bring benefits that other spirits won't. That's wrong. Scientifically, wine is alcohol like any other." 
Suggesting wine should be treated like any other kind of alcohol in a country that producers the most wine in the world and whose folk are the second biggest drinkers of the tipple in the world was always going to have people spluttering into their glasses.
"Obviously there is alcohol in the wine, but it is an alcohol that is not strong and that is part of our tradition, our culture, our national identity," secretary to the prime minister Christophe Castaner told TV channel BFMTV on Thursday.
"Wine is not our enemy". 
Joël Forgeau, President of wine lobby Vin et Société, told French news magazine L'Express he was “stunned” by the Minister's comments. 
"These intolerable comments are experienced as a real provocation by winegrowers.
In June 2016 France's national auditors the Cour des Comptes wrote a stinging report in which they said the government was complicit with the 49,000 alcohol related deaths each year in the country.


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