Updated: 10:26, Friday November 29, 2013
Despite having one of the best health systems in the world, only one in four people in France is truly healthy, according to a survey that points to mounting levels of stress, obesity and alcohol abuse.
The survey, which was carried out by the Axa insurance company, measured the health of French people across five categories - weight, quality of sleep, stress, depression and serious or chronic illness.
Only 24 per cent scored well on all criteria, down from 27 per cent a year ago.
Nearly one in three people - 28 per cent - was found to be seriously overweight, and 16 per cent was obese, the survey, which used the World Health Organisation's yardstick on obesity, said.
The results tallied with the findings of a survey in 2012, which found obesity had shot up by 76 per cent in five years.
While many rich and emerging economies are battling bulging waistlines, particularly among youth, the Axa survey suggested young people in France were far less likely to be seriously overweight than their elders.
Only 10 per cent of under-25s were affected, compared with one in four people over 65.
Alcohol emerged as the other main public health problem, with 37 per cent of respondents admitting to drinking to excess and 13 per cent to being dependent on alcohol, according to WHO definitions.
The second edition of the survey also revealed high anxiety levels, particularly among the young.
Over half of people aged under 34 said they suffered from stress, while around one in three said they suffered from depression.
The survey was carried out among 1004 people in July and no margin of error was given.