Food of the French: good food but bad food

The Health Study on the Environment, Biomonitoring, Physical Activity and Nutrition (Esteban), conducted by Public Health France and published last month, was set up to collect reliable data on the diet of the French. The nutritional situation in France is not terrible, if we have “the best cuisine in the world”, it is said, our food can be greatly improved. Here are some data.

The objective of the ESTEBAN study was to assess the food consumption of French people with regard to the French National Nutrition Plan (PNNS). Consumption in France was assessed on a representative sample of the total population: 2,834 adults (18 to 74 years old) and 1,279 children (6 to 17 years old). The data was collected by dieticians by telephone, on the internet and via recordings for the smallest children. The weighting was calculated according to the survey plan and the socio-demographic characteristics.

Too much trans fat and salt, not enough fish, fruits and vegetables

Food consumption in France changed little between 2006 and 2015, for both children and adults:

  • Saturated fatty acids: consumption remains too high. Indeed, “only 17% of adults have saturated fatty acid intakes below 36% of total lipid intakes and 16% of children below 37%”.
  • Fish and fish products: insufficient consumption and in sharp decline for 10 years among children.
  • Low fiber consumption: 25 g per day for 13% of adults and 2% of children.
  • Insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables: 5 per day for only 42% of adults and 23% of children.
  • Insufficient consumption of whole grain products and pulses: over 3 days, only 40% of adults and 29% of children had consumed them.
  • Increase in salt consumption in 10 years: more than 6 g/day for 60% of children and 44% of adults.
  • Still high consumption of sugary drinks for children
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Junk food affects the most educated too

The nutritional surveillance and epidemiology team (Esen) noted that in general, the most educated people reported a diet more in line with good dietary recommendations even if social inequalities seemed to have faded in ten years. . This would be due to a deterioration in the consumption of the most educated people between 2006 and 2015.

The authors conclude that dietary recommendations are still not followed by the entire French population. With a public health objective, the report strongly recommends strengthening the means to promote healthy eating among all . On our website, we are working on it as much as possible.


Public health France


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