Almost half French are fat - survey

Study finds that 46% of French people are overweight or obese, despite a “good diet” and regular exercise

6 March 2014

THE FRENCH consider themselves to be a healthy nation, but almost half of them are overweight, according to a survey.

The study found that 46% of people are overweight or obese, despite a “good diet” and regular physical activity.

The French have a high opinion of the food they put on their plates, with 86% rating it “very good” or “fairly good”, and 76% saying it is varied and balanced.

But consumption of fruit and vegetables is below the recommended five portions a day. According to the survey, French people eat just 3.4 portions.

As a result, more than three out of four (76%) considered themselves healthy, while 30% were overweight and 16% obese.

As expected, obesity is higher among people who lead a generally sedentary lifestyle (20%), but also among those aged between 50 and 64 (21%). It was lowest among young people, with only 9% of those surveyed obese.

Six out of 10 people eat three meals a day, though a third of respondents admitted to snacking between meals. Only 11% of those surveyed said they eat at a fast food restaurant every week.

Walking, cycling and swimming were popular hobbies among the 69% of respondents who said they took part in physical activity at least once a week.

However only 49% of obese people claimed to engage in a physical activity or sport. The main obstacles, they said, were lack of time (36%), motivation (33%) and money (14%).

The survey of 1,001 people, conducted by OpinionWay on behalf of the General Mutual of Education (MGEN), used the body mass index (BMI) to calculate whether respondents were overweight.

Photo:Marjan Lazarevski

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