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French back their three meals a day

Study finds French like money-off deals, Germans prefer snacks while Brazilians say eating well means being on diet

A NEW study has highlighted the differences between France and its international neighbours – by confirming that the French prefer three meals a day while the Germans often skip lunch and even dinner and opt for snacks.

Perhaps that explains why Germany has one of the highest levels of obesity, at 58%, and why they say they average 3.7 meals a day.

The French say “eating well” means eating a balanced diet – while the study found British and Americans felt that “eating well” meant something simple and more practical or “easy to eat”.

To Brazilians “eating well” means being on a diet and, despite their reputation for the samba lifestyle, they are the world champions in snacking, with an average of 4.8 food breaks a day.

Snacking is not the French style as they prefer their three meals a day – although they admit to being more and more concerned about the price of their meals.

One in two French people contacted for the survey said their meal costs were on the rise and they admitted being very drawn to money-off deals and promotions.

However, they were also aware of the quality of what they were eating, with 24% having doubts that it was up to scratch. Germans, too, had their doubts but the Americans and British were more optimistic and said they had no fears for their health – adding that Americans do not even have health warning labels.

The study of nine countries by TNS Sofres for the Salon International de l'Alimentation, which is held from October 19-23, highlighted Russian fears over the quality of food, with half of those questioned saying they felt there could be risks and many were even turning to organic foods.

SIAL this year looks at changes in the food trade with the development of the French “Drive” concept launched in 2004 by Leclerc, smartshopping using smartphones, the end of the “hard discount” store and, with the globalisation of trade, the rise in online shops such as Amazon Fresh.
Photo: Steve Lovegrove -

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