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6 Bad American Habits That Are Spreading Around the World

These countries are adopting unhealthy American habits.

Courtesy of  Josh Felise/Unsplash

By Mark Abadi 

Americans have a reputation around the world for some pretty bad habits. They work too long, for example. They eat tons of fast food, and watch way too much TV.

But as bad as those habits may be, they seem to be slowly spreading around the world.

Read on to find out other countries that are adopting unhealthy American habits.

Eating tons of fast food

America eats more fast food than any country in the world. Fast food restaurants serve 50 million Americans every day, and a recent poll found that eight out of 10 Americans eat fast food at least once a month.

But other countries are catching up. More than 50% of total restaurant sales in France, for example, went to fast food companies in 2013, a 14% increase from a year earlier.

Fast food consumption is also on the rise in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, and Japan.

Skipping lunch breaks 

Americans have a reputation for being chained to their desks at work, and the data backs it up: 62% of American professionals eat lunch at their office desk, according to The New York Times.

But Americans might not be the only ones for much longer. In France, the average lunch break has shrunk from 80 minutes in 1975 to just 22 minutes in 2011, according to NPR, putting a dent in cafe sales and forcing more French people to stick by their computers for their midday meal.

Going nuts on Black Friday 

Black Friday was once a distinctly American occasion — the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer outrageous discounts to kick off the holiday shopping season.

However, the trend is going global. Several countries including Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Australia, Romania, and Germany all have begun to copy the tradition in recent years, with retailers declaring massive discount days on or around the same time as Black Friday in the US.

Canada’s reasoning is especially interesting: According to the CBC, Canadian retailers started their own Black Friday tradition to discourage Canadians from crossing the border and taking advantage of the discounts in the US.

Working crazy hours 

Americans are known for working longer hours than almost anyone else in the world.

One estimate from 2014 pegged the average American full-time employee as working 47 hours a week. Meanwhile, people in western European countries like Germany and Sweden work closer to 35 hours a week, and are actually legally entitled to refuse to work more than 48 hours a week.

But that’s not the case in every country. The American tendency to stay late at the office appears to be creeping over to the United Kingdom, where the average employee works more than 42 hours a week.

Being addicted to social media 

The United States can claim to be the birthplace of many of the world’s most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

But Americans have long been surpassed in social media usage, and the US doesn’t even appear in the top 10 countries anymore.

According to the latest data, the top spots now go to the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. People there all average more than three hours a day on social media sites.

Watching TV all day 

But Americans have some competition on that front. Australia, Italy, and Poland each average more than four hours a day. And when it comes to binge-watching Netflix, Canada already has the US beat.

Originally published at www.businessinsider.com

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