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How The French Learned To Drink Less – And Better

Alcohol consumption has halved over the past 50 years, as the quality of wine has risen.

How The French Learned To Drink Less – And Better
Rafaële Rivais

PARIS - The comedian Coluche, in one of his famous sketches in 1974, expressed a traditional French sentiment when he said, "Wine…it should be mandatory." But even by the 1970s, wine was no longer a required fixture at dinner tables in France. The decline had actually begun the previous decade, which marked the beginning of a trend that would see alcohol consumption drop nearly 50% between 1960 and 2000, according to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies.

In 1957, French adults consumed an average of 5.65 drinks per day. By 2009, that daily number had fallen to 2.71. Broken down by alcohol type, that amounts to 1.55 glasses of wine, just over half a shot of spirits, a half a glass of beer, and 7% of a glass of cider or some other alcoholic drink, according to a study by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addictions.

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Firefighters work to put out the fire in a mall hit by a Russian missile strike

Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Officials fear the death toll will continue to climb after two Russian missiles hit the Armstor shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kramenchuk. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, more than 1,000 people were inside the mall Monday at the time of the attack.

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For the moment, the death toll is at 18 with 36 people missing and at least 59 injured, reported a regional official on Tuesday. The search and rescue operations continue under the rubble.

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