As is well known, developed countries have a much higher life expectancy than poorer countries. And yet, among these so-called ‘rich’ countries, there are surprising differences. Why, for example, do people in France, Italy and Spain live an average of two or three years longer than people in the United Kingdom, Germany or the United States? Why does someone from the southwest of France have a risk of heart attack that is three times lower than someone in Ireland?
There may be a number of factors, including climate, social inequality, the level of stress and the difference in health systems, among other things. But it is surely the case that diet and lifestyle are not unrelated to this state of affairs. Japan, for example, where seafood and grains are still widely consumed, is well in the lead with a life expectancy of 82.5 years. The countries of southern Europe, where vegetables, olive oil and, above all, regular consumption of wine are the norm, are just behind. Of these, the best score is held by France, whose citizens have a life expectancy of 81.5 years.
Many serious medical studies have been carried out to explain this much-envied ‘French paradox’, and the results are well known: protection against cardiovascular disease and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, protection against certain types of cancer … It would be hard to imagine a better encouragement for our goal: to contribute to promoting the consumption of quality wine around the world.