France tells its people to drink less wine

Photo: RossHelen (iStock)

We regret to inform you that, as studies have proven in recent years, putting basically anything enjoyable in your body is now provably bad. Sodas are bad for you. Diet sodas are also bad for you. Fast food has been getting worse for decades, pretty much anything processed at large is a poor choice, and it goes without saying that drinking any kind of alcohol is sending you down the primrose path to perdition.

Now, let’s throw wine onto the list and under the bus as well—and from the French, no less. A new campaign from France’s national public health agency, Santé Publique France, is cautioning that even the modest consumption of wine can lead to major long-term physical concerns.

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The campaign recommends that wine should be enjoyed in the form of no more than two glasses daily, or 10 per week, and that drinkers should also take intermittent sober days throughout the week. The campaign also claims that wine consumption is accountable for approximately 41,000 preventable deaths in France per year (citing research data from 2015). A reported 24 percent of French citizens currently exceed Santé Publique France’s recommendations for consumption.

The campaign has already drawn criticism from winemakers; Languedoc AC delegate Jérôme Villaret said in response to the campaign that “This kind of publicity campaign upsets the moderate consumer...To us, these kinds of studies just make consumers feel guilty.” Mission accomplished, Santé Publique.

We agree that moderation is always a sensible rule-of-thumb, but this feels especially cruel on its face, like telling Italians you should consume no more than two teaspoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano a day, or the Spanish that more than 10 toothpicked-pintxos in one sitting is hazardous to your health. On one hand: public health! On the other: Santé Publique sounds fun at a dinner party.

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Join us next week, when at this rate, news will emerge about potable water mugging people on street corners.

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