jueves, 8 de octubre de 2015

Which country has the biggest obesity problem?

A new study says nearly 1 billion adults in the developing world have a weight problem. That's nearly 4 times the number recorded in 1980.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for Intermediate 2 and Advanced students.

1 Which countries are researchers particularly alarmed about their 'expanding waistline'?
2 What three characteristics of the middle classes are mentioned in connection with obesity?
3 What diseases are we risking if we don't follow a healthy diet?
4 What are trans fats used for?
5 Why is South Korea mentioned?
6 What two things do Koreans do as far as diet is concerned?

Eating to excess. Chances are many of us overdid it over the festive period. But there are fresh concerns over our globally expanding waistlines. Researchers say it´s particularly alarming in (1) the developing world where people are choosing to spend their increasing disposable income on fatty sugary foods. The future diet report analysed existing data on global obesity rates. It found in 1980 one in five people were overweight or obese. In 2008 it has risen to one in three. The report also found that in the developed world countries like the UK and US rates went from 321m to 571m. But in developing countries like Egypt and Mexico, numbers almost quadrupled, from 250m to 904m.
Well, the explosion of overweight and obese people in the developing world is largely down to the emerging economies, those that have gone through a transition from the low-income economies to middle-income economies in the last generation. And that has produced a large middle class of people who have (2) rising incomes, and they can buy the foods they want and they are undertaking more sedentary lifestyles.
It’s these sorts of greasy, fattening, processed sugary foods that are causing the problem. This glass of coke has more than the daily recommended maximum limit of sugar, around 13 teaspoons of sugar in that. Get through enough of this sort of food and drink regularly enough and you are risking things like (3) heart disease or strokes, certain types of cancer 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 (4) 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 as a success story in (5) how government policies can help fight obesity.
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. (6) 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 that the only thing that will get lighter is people’s wallets.
Tulip Mazumdar, BBC News.