"Quoi, just two glasses?" Asked the title of the English page at the rolling news station France 24.
It was the incredible response to a campaign launched this week by French health authorities trying to persuade the public to drink no more than two glasses of wine a day – And not every day either.
According to Santé Publique France, almost a quarter of French adults regularly drink too much alcohol, and this level of drinking kills 41,000 people a year, making it the second largest cause of avoidable deaths in the country after smoking.
"It's about 10.5 million adults drinking too much. In any case, they drink in proportions that increase the risks to their health, including cancer, high blood pressure, cerebral haemorrhage and cardiovascular disease," Viet said. Nguyen-Thanh, director of Santé Publique France.
Jérôme Villaret, Director General of the Languedoc AC wine producers criticized the campaign. "This kind of advertising campaign disturbs the moderate consumer," he told the newspaper La Depeche. "For us, these studies only make consumers feel guilty."
The French have a complicated history of wine, which is considered an important part of their national heritage. A 1950's health campaign encouraged the public to cut down and drink less than one liter of alcohol per day. Meal. School canteens could earn half a liter of wine, cider or beer for students aged 14 to 1956. Alcohol was excluded from the schools in 1981.
"It is part of French history. The fact that France is a wine producer has surely played a role when it comes to the French and their relationship with wine, "Nugyen-Thanh added.
For some, wine is not even proper alcohol. Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume recently said: "Wine is not an alcohol like the others."
Admission of binge drink among French youth was a real problem, he added: "But I have never seen my knowledge … a kid who left a nightclub was drunk because they drank Côtes-du-Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage or Costières-de-Nîmes. "
Health Minister Agnès Buzyn reacted with strict rebuke:" The alcohol molecule in wine is exactly the same as in any alcoholic beverage. "
The World Health Organization figures indicate that the French are far from the heaviest drivers in Europe. They have an average annual consumption per year. Person of 12.6 liters of pure alcohol among those over the age of 15, behind Lithuania's 15 liters, Germany's 13.4 liters, Ireland and Luxembourg's 13 liters each and Latvia's 12.9 liters. In the UK, 11.5 liters Person annually. Wine represents 58% of all alcohol consumed in France.
Santé Publique France advises a maximum of 10 glasses of alcohol, including wine a week. However, it does not determine the size of the glass.