French really DO spend longer 'à table', says study

French people were found to spend the most time eating and drinking out of 30 countries in total

France has topped a list of 30 countries for the average time residents spend on eating and drinking, beating Italy, Greece and Spain, says a new study published this month.

In a result that will surprise almost no-one, French people were found to spend an average of two hours and 13 minutes “eating and drinking” - e.g. time spent on meal times - per day.

This put them ahead of the other 29 nations studied in the report, which studied the eating and drinking habits of men and women aged 15 to 64, and was published this month by economic group the Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economique (OCDE).

French people were found to spend longer eating and drinking than Italians (an average of 2 hours 13 minutes per day); Greeks (2 hours 17 minutes); Spanish (2 hours 2 minutes); and the Danes (2 hours exactly).


Lower down the table were New Zealanders (1 hour 20 minutes), Indians (1 hour 19 minutes), Britons (1 hour 18 minutes), Irish (1 hour 15 minutes), and South Africans (1 hour 8 minutes).

The French time was over double that spent by Canadians (1 hour 5 minutes) and Americans (1 hour 2 minutes), who took the bottom two places in the list respectively.

And yet, table time is on the decline even in France.

When compared to the same report from 2010, this most recent study showed that French people today were spending nine minutes less time at the table on average than in 2010.

This report stopped short of suggesting reasons for the time differences between countries, but another study from the OCDE - from May 2017 - showed that just 15.3% of adults over 15 years of age in France were obese, compared to 38% of those in the USA.

Other figures from statistics bureau the Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (Insee), and quoted in Le Figaro newspaper also show that, despite the popularity of fast food in the Hexagon, France still has more traditional-style restaurants (68%) than fast food outlets (54%).

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