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Calls for Americans to Use Less Salt (23rd April, 2010)


 

Food experts in the USA are asking the government to make new salt laws. America’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to limit the amount of salt put in food. This would affect how food manufacturers and restaurants prepare their food. The institute believes America’s love affair with salt must end. It says Americans consume far too much salt, which is leading to too many health problems. The IOM says salt intake is the same as it was decades ago, despite many health drives to get people to use less. Its report says: “''If you look at salt intake over a number of decades, it has not gone down despite a number of efforts and it is still at a very high level.” Its main recommendation is to set standards for safe levels of salt in food.

Not everyone is happy with the IOM’s request. Lori Roman, head of America’s Salt Institute, said the IOM’s recommendations were “not scientifically sound". Roman, added: "They're talking about some very drastic reductions. They could be harming people.” Gary Howard, a spokesman for the Campaign for Liberty group also agreed the IOM was going too far, saying: "It's another [attack] on people's personal freedom." Supporters of the bill say America’s health must come first. Lowering salt could reduce high blood pressure and improve the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults, or around 75 million people. It also increases the risks of having heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. SALT: Walk around the class and talk to other students about salt. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

experts / salt / limits / restaurants / love affair / health problems / recommendations / requests / drastic reductions / harming people / going too far / high blood pressure

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. BAD FOR YOU: Is it? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Why?

Do you care?

salt

 

 

Starbucks coffee

 

 

chocolate

 

 

fast food

 

 

donuts

 

 

cookies

 

 

4. HEALTHY: Students A strongly believe we will all eat healthily in the future; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF: How best to do it? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • consume less salt
  • sleep well
  • enjoy life
  • cut out sweets, cakes, sugary stuff
  • exercise every day
  • annual health check
  • diet
  • yoga

6. BLOOD PRESSURE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the term ‘blood pressure’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

US experts say Americans harming world salt supplies.

T / F

b.

The article says American people have a love affair with salt.

T / F

c.

The article says people should drive less for their health.

T / F

d.

Salt consumption in Americans has remained stable for decades.

T / F

e.

Everyone is happy about calls for a reduction of salt in food in the USA.

T / F

f.

One group said a reduction in salt in food could harm people.

T / F

g.

A personal liberty group said salt laws would attack personal freedom.

T / F

h.

Around 10 per cent of American adults suffer from high blood pressure.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

experts

a.

cuts

2

limit

b.

suggestion

3.

amount

c.

specialists

4.

drives

d.

boss

5.

recommendation

e.

chance

6.

head

f.

campaigns

7.

sound

g.

health

8.

reductions

h.

cap

9.

well-being

i.

reliable

10.

risk

j.

volume

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

limit the amount

a.

drastic reductions

2

America’s love

b.

a number of decades

3.

salt intake is the same as

c.

come first

4.

look at salt intake over

d.

with the IOM’s request

5.

set standards for safe

e.

of salt put in food

6.

Not everyone is happy

f.

affair with salt

7.

They're talking about some very

g.

too far

8.

the IOM was going

h.

levels of salt in food

9.

America’s health must

i.

having heart attacks

10.

increases the risks of

j.

it was decades ago

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Food ____________ in the USA are asking the government to make new salt laws. America’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ____________ the amount of salt put in food. This would affect how food manufacturers and restaurants ____________ their food. The institute believes America’s love affair with salt must end. It says Americans consume far too much salt, which is ____________ to too many health problems. The IOM says salt intake is the same as it was ____________ ago, despite many health drives to get people to use less. Its report says: “If you look at salt ____________ over a number of decades, it has not gone down despite a number of efforts and it is still at a very ____________ level.” Its main recommendation is to ____________ standards for safe levels of salt in food.

 

 

 

decades
set
limit
intake
experts
high
prepare
leading

Not everyone is happy with the IOM’s ____________. Lori Roman, head of America’s Salt Institute, said the IOM’s recommendations were “not scientifically ____________ ". Roman, added: "They're talking about some very ____________ reductions. They could be harming people.” Gary Howard, a spokesman for the Campaign for Liberty group also ____________ the IOM was going too far, saying: "It's another [attack] on people's personal freedom." Supporters of the ____________ say America’s health must come first. Lowering salt could reduce high blood pressure and improve the well-____________ of hundreds of thousands of people. High blood pressure ____________ a third of U.S. adults, or around 75 million people. It also increases the risks of having heart attacks, strokes and kidney ____________.

 

 

agreed
failure
affects
request
being
drastic
sound
bill

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Food experts in the USA are asking the government ___________________. America’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ____________ amount _________ put in food. This would affect how food manufacturers and restaurants prepare their food. The institute believes America’s _______________ salt must end. It says Americans consume far too much salt, which is leading to too many health problems. The IOM says salt intake is the same as it ________________, despite many health drives to get people to use less. Its report says: “If you look at salt intake over a number of decades, it has not gone down ____________  number ____________ and it is still at a very high level.” Its main recommendation ____________ standards ______ safe levels of salt in food.

Not everyone is happy ____________ IOM’s _________. Lori Roman, head of America’s Salt Institute, said the IOM’s recommendations were “not scientifically sound". Roman, added: "They're talking about some very _________________. They could be harming people.” Gary Howard, a spokesman for the Campaign for Liberty group also agreed the IOM was ____________, saying: "It's another [attack] on people's personal freedom." Supporters of the bill say America’s health must come first. Lowering salt could reduce high blood pressure and improve _______________ of hundreds of thousands of people. High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults, ______________ million people. It also increases the risks of having heart attacks, strokes and ____________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘love’ and ‘affair’.

love

affair

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • asking
  • manufacturers
  • love
  • drives
  • efforts
  • set
  • request
  • sound
  • far
  • first
  • reduce
  • failure

STUDENT SALT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about salt in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

SALT DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘salt’?

c)

How important is salt in your life?

d)

What are the good and bad things about salt?

e)

Would you be happy without salt in your food?

f)

What does your country have a love affair with? Why?

g)

How healthy is the diet of people in your country?

h)

Why aren’t people cutting down on salt?

i)

What health problems does salt create?

j)

Do you always follow what food experts say?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you agree with Lori Roman?

c)

How could a reduction in salt harm your health?

d)

What would you like to drastically reduce (or increase) in your diet?

e)

Is it an attack on personal freedom if the government introduces salt laws?

f)

Who is right, the IOM or Campaign for Liberty?

g)

What do you know about high blood pressure?

h)

What do you do for your well-being?

i)

How can people reduce the risk of heart attacks?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Lori Roman?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Food (1) ____ in the USA are asking the government to make new salt laws. America’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to (2) ____ the amount of salt put in food. This would affect how food manufacturers and restaurants prepare their food. The institute believes America’s (3) ____ affair with salt must end. It says Americans consume (4) ____ too much salt, which is leading to too many health problems. The IOM says salt intake is the same as it was decades ago, despite many health (5) ____ to get people to use less. Its report says: “If you look at salt intake over a number of decades, it has not gone down despite a (6) ____ of efforts and it is still at a very high level.” Its main recommendation is to set standards for safe levels of salt in food.

Not everyone is happy (7) ____ the IOM’s request. Lori Roman, head of America’s Salt Institute, said the IOM’s recommendations were “not scientifically (8) ____ ". Roman, added: "They're talking about some very drastic reductions. They could be (9) ____ people.” Gary Howard, a spokesman for the Campaign for Liberty group also agreed the IOM was going too (10) ____, saying: "It's another [attack] on people's personal freedom." Supporters of the bill say America’s health must come first. Lowering salt could reduce high blood pressure and improve the (11) ____-being of hundreds of thousands of people. High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults, or around 75 million people. It also increases the risks of having heart attacks, strokes and kidney (12) ____.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

expertise

(b)

expertly

(c)

expert

(d)

experts

2.

(a)

limits

(b)

limit

(c)

limitation

(d)

limited

3.

(a)

love

(b)

lovely

(c)

loving

(d)

lover

4.

(a)

for

(b)

fur

(c)

far

(d)

fir

5.

(a)

speeds

(b)

brakes

(c)

drives

(d)

accelerates

6.

(a)

numerical

(b)

number

(c)

numbered

(d)

numeral

7.

(a)

with

(b)

of

(c)

from

(d)

to

8.

(a)

touch

(b)

taste

(c)

sight

(d)

sound

9.

(a)

harmful

(b)

harming

(c)

harms

(d)

harm

10.

(a)

for

(b)

future

(c)

farthest

(d)

far

11.

(a)

good

(b)

best

(c)

well

(d)

better

12.

(a)

failure

(b)

fail

(c)

failed

(d)

fails

WRITING

Write about salt for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about salt. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SALT: Make a poster about salt and its uses. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. SALTY: Write a magazine article about the dangers of salt to our health. Include imaginary interviews with someone from the Institute of Medicine and someone from the Campaign for Liberty.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of a salt company. Ask him/her three questions about salt. Give him/her three of your opinions on salt. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

experts

a.

specialists

2

limit

b.

cap

3.

amount

c.

volume

4.

drives

d.

campaigns

5.

recommendation

e.

suggestion

6.

head

f.

boss

7.

sound

g.

reliable

8.

reductions

h.

cuts

9.

well-being

i.

health

10.

risk

j.

chance

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

limit the amount

a.

of salt put in food

2

America’s love

b.

affair with salt

3.

salt intake is the same as

c.

it was decades ago

4.

look at salt intake over

d.

a number of decades

5.

set standards for safe

e.

levels of salt in food

6.

Not everyone is happy

f.

with the IOM’s request

7.

They're talking about some very

g.

drastic reductions

8.

the IOM was going

h.

too far

9.

America’s health must

i.

come first

10.

increases the risks of

j.

having heart attacks

GAP FILL:

Calls for Americans to use less salt

Food experts in the USA are asking the government to make new salt laws. America’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to limit the amount of salt put in food. This would affect how food manufacturers and restaurants prepare their food. The institute believes America’s love affair with salt must end. It says Americans consume far too much salt, which is leading to too many health problems. The IOM says salt intake is the same as it was decades ago, despite many health drives to get people to use less. Its report says: “If you look at salt intake over a number of decades, it has not gone down despite a number of efforts and it is still at a very high level.” Its main recommendation is to set standards for safe levels of salt in food.

Not everyone is happy with the IOM’s request. Lori Roman, head of America’s Salt Institute, said the IOM’s recommendations were “not scientifically sound". Roman, added: "They're talking about some very drastic reductions. They could be harming people.” Gary Howard, a spokesman for the Campaign for Liberty group also agreed the IOM was going too far, saying: "It's another [attack] on people's personal freedom." Supporters of the bill say America’s health must come first. Lowering salt could reduce high blood pressure and improve the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. High blood pressure affects a third of U.S. adults, or around 75 million people. It also increases the risks of having heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

 

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