obesity problem

The Obesity Problem



excess concern developed country
chance alarming undertake
waist emerge overweight
obesity porridge choose/chose/chosen
rate analyze find/found/found
report waistline one in three
sort (2) existing rise/rose/risen
strain scale (4) developing country
expand period (3) emerging economy
extend shelf-life buy/bought/bought
greasy down to processed
limit diabetes teaspoon (2)
risk transition get through
cancer stroke (2) heart disease
ban trans-fat right across
cite scheme explosion (2)
policy sedentary disposable
keen whereas quadruple
wallet conscious weight conscious






Eating to excess.

Chances are many of us overdid it over the festive period.

But there are fresh concerns over our globally expanding waistline.

Researchers say it’s particularly alarming in the developing world, where people are choosing to spend their increasing disposable incomes on fatty, sugary foods.

The Future Diet Report analyzing existing data on global obesity rates. It found that in 1980, one in five people were overweight or obese.

In 2008, it had risen to one in three.

The report also found that in the developed world, countries like the UK and the US, rates went from three-hundred, twenty-one million (321) million to five-hundred-and-seventy-one (571) million.

But in developing countries like Egypt and Mexico, numbers almost quadruples from two-hundred and fifty (250) million to nine-hundred-and-four (904) million.

Health Expert: “Well the explosion of overweight and obese people in the developing world is largely down to the emerging economies; those who have gone through a transition from low-income economies to middle-income economies, in the last generation.

And that has produced a large middle-class of people who have rising incomes, so they can buy the foods they want — and there are undertaking more sedentary lifestyles.”

It’s these sorts of greasy, fattening, processed, sugary foods that are causing the problem: this glass of Coke contains more than the daily recommended maximum limit of sugar — around thirteen teaspoons of sugar in that.

Get through enough of this sort of food and drink regularly enough, and your risks of things like heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancers and diabetes all increases.

It’s already putting a huge strain on health systems right across the world.

Denmark banned trans-fats which are used to extend shelf-life, but have no nutritional value back in 2004.

The report also cites South Korea’s large scale training scheme to teach women about preparing traditional, low-fat meals — a success story about how government policy can help fight obesity.

Korean Woman One: “I’ve never worried about my weight because I’ve always enjoyed eating porridge like this. I would never eat fatty foods.

I like to eat vegetables and fruit.”

Korean Woman Two: “Koreans prefer vegetables, whereas Westerners seem to eat more red meat. Also Koreans tend to eat less in general.

People are quite weight conscious here.”

The report says more governments need to start introducing taxes on sugary, fatty foods. Much of the food and drinks industry isn’t keen though, and argue the only thing that will get lighter is people’s wallets.


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1. “There are fresh concerns over our globally expanding waistline.” What does this mean?

2. Only Americans have weight problems. Only Americans are fat. True or false?

3. Is obesity and being overweight increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

4. People in developing or “poor” countries are slim. Is this right or wrong? Why are people in countries such Egypt and Mexico getting heavier?

5. There is no difference between overweight and slim people in terms of their health. Is this correct or incorrect?

6. Can the government influence people’s weights and health? How can the government influence people’s weights and health?

7. Compare the diet in Korea with other countries.


A. The people in my city and country are all slim. Is this entirely true, mostly true, both, in the middle, it varies, mostly false or entirely false?

B. Has the situation changed or remained the same? Have diets and lifestyles changed over the years?

C. I personally know people who are fat or obese. Yes or no? Or do you know anyone who is slim? Describe their habits.

D. Is the diet and fitness industry big? Are there many books, videos, clubs, programs, experts, TV programs about weight, diet and fitness?

E. Everyone is very concerned and worried about the obesity epidemic. What do you think?

F. What should governments and people do?

G. What might happen in the future?


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