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English Speaking Nations Most Overweight (26th September, 2010)


 

Six of the seven countries with the highest obesity rates are English-speaking nations. This is according to a new report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The country at the top of the list is the USA. This is followed by Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The OECD looked at 33 different countries. The other 26 countries were non-English speaking. The ten slimmest countries included Japan, Korea, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. Health experts are now wondering why English-speaking countries top the world’s obesity league. One theory is that they are all copying an American lifestyle; people eat a lot of fast food and a lot of it is in sizes considerably larger than those found in the rest of the world.


The OECD report contains some interesting statistics. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rates. They are expected to rise by another 15 per cent over the next decade. This compares to an increase of five per cent in South Korea. Education makes a big difference to weight in America and Sweden. Poorly educated women are 30 per cent more likely to be overweight than those who had a good education. Swedish women with poor educations are more than twice as overweight as educated women. In the USA and UK, children are particularly overweight. Around 30 per cent of British kids are overweight, compared with 40 per cent for their American counterparts. In Sweden, one person in ten is obese, although more than half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight there.


WARM-UPS

1. BEING OVERWEIGHT: Walk around the class and talk to other students about being overweight. 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.

 

obesity rates / being overweight / lists / slimmest / health experts / lifestyle / sizes / reports / interesting statistics / the next decade / education / counterparts

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

3. OBESITY: What causes obesity? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

How to reduce this problem

Fast food

 

Computer games

 

Too much money

 

Poor education

 

Serving sizes

 

Greed

 

4. A THING OF THE PAST: Students A strongly believe obesity will become a thing of the past; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FATTENING?: Naughty but nice? Rank these twice and share your lists and rankings with your partner(s). Put the naughtiest at the top of list 1 and the nicest at the top of list 2. Change partners and share your lists and rankings again.

  • hamburgers
  • bananas
  • pizza
  • KFC
  • chocolate
  • fried rice
  • spaghetti
  • ice cream

6. LIFESTYLE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘lifestyle’. 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.

English speakers are more likely to be overweight.

T / F

b.

Six of the top seven fattest countries are English-speaking nations.

T / F

c.

A report looked at people’s weight in 133 countries.

T / F

d.

Experts believe American lifestyle is affecting other English speakers.

T / F

e.

Australia has the slowest growing rates of obesity.

T / F

f.

In Korea, obesity levels will rise 15% this decade.

T / F

g.

A poor education in Sweden doubles a woman’s likelihood to be obese.

T / F

h.

British kids tend to be fatter than American ones.

T / F

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

1.

rates

a.

hypothesis

2

experts

b.

especially

3.

theory

c.

replicating

4.

copying

d.

increase

5.

considerably

e.

levels

6.

statistics

f.

probable

7.

rise

g.

data

8.

likely

h.

specialists

9.

particularly

i.

equals

10.

counterparts

j.

a lot

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

1.

countries with the highest

a.

by the USA

2

according to a

b.

as educated women

3.

This is followed

c.

larger

4.

Health experts are now wondering

d.

big difference

5.

considerably

e.

new report

6.

The OECD report contains some

f.

another 15 per cent

7.

expected to rise by

g.

obesity rates

8.

Education makes a

h.

counterparts

9.

more than twice as overweight

i.

why

10.

their American

j.

interesting statistics

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Six of the seven countries with the highest obesity ____________ are English-speaking nations. This is ____________ to a new report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The country at the top of the ____________ is the USA. This is ____________ by Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The OECD looked at 33 different countries. The other 26 countries were non-English speaking. The ten ____________ countries included Japan, Korea, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. Health ____________ are now wondering why English-speaking countries top the world’s obesity ____________. One theory is that they are all copying an American lifestyle; people eat a lot of fast food and a lot of it is in ____________ considerably larger than those found in the rest of the world.

 

 

 

league
slimmest
list
rates
experts
sizes
according
followed

The OECD report contains some interesting ____________. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rates. They are expected to ____________ by another 15 per cent over the next ____________. This compares to an increase of five per cent in South Korea. Education makes a big difference to weight in America and Sweden. Poorly ____________ women are 30 per cent more likely to be overweight than those who had a good education. Swedish women with ____________ educations are more than twice as overweight as educated women. In the USA and UK, children are ____________ overweight. Around 30 per cent of British kids are overweight, compared with 40 per cent for their American ____________. In Sweden, one person in ten is ____________, although more than half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight there.

 

 

decade
obese
rise
poor
counterparts
statistics
educated
particularly

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Six of the seven countries with __________________________ are English-speaking nations. This __________________________ report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The country at __________________________ is the USA. This is followed by Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The OECD looked at 33 different countries. The other 26 countries were non-English speaking. The ten slimmest countries included Japan, Korea, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. __________________________ wondering why English-speaking countries top __________________________. One theory is that they are all copying an American lifestyle; people eat a lot of fast food and a lot of it is in __________________________ than those found in the rest of the world.

The OECD report contains __________________________. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rates. They are expected to rise by another 15 per cent __________________________. This compares to an increase of five per cent in South Korea. Education makes a big difference to weight in America and Sweden. __________________________ are 30 per cent more likely to be overweight than those who had a good education. Swedish __________________________ are more than twice as overweight as educated women. In the USA and UK, children __________________________. Around 30 per cent of British kids are overweight, compared with 40 per cent for __________________________. In Sweden, one person in ten is obese, although more than half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight there.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

obesity

rates

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • according
  • new
  • top
  • 33
  • 26
  • sizes
  • 15
  • 5
  • 30
  • twice
  • 40
  • third

STUDENT BEING OVERWEIGHT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about being overweight 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.

BEING OVERWEIGHT 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 ‘obese’?

c)

Are you surprised that so six of the seven countries with the highest obesity rates are English-speaking nations?

d)

Are you surprised about the slimmest countries?

e)

Why do you think people in English-speaking countries are so overweight?

f)

Do people in your country have problems with their weight?

g)

Do all countries follow the American lifestyle?

h)

Why does the American lifestyle produce such high rates of obesity?

i)

Should governments ban unhealthy food?

j)

Are you worried about your weight?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How much of a problem is obesity?

c)

What health problems does obesity create?

d)

Do you think obesity levels will ever decline?

e)

Should overweight people pay more on airlines and in hospitals?

f)

What is the relationship between education and weight?

g)

Now we are better educated, why don’t we learn about eating healthily?

h)

What’s the best way to lose weight?

i)

What problems do you think obese people have on a daily basis?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a health expert about obesity?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Six of the seven countries with the highest (1) ____ rates are English-speaking nations. This is according (2) ____ a new report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The country at the top of the list is the USA. This is followed (3) ____ the USA, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The OECD looked at 33 different countries. The other 26 countries were non-English speaking. The ten (4) ____ countries included Japan, Korea, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. Health experts are now (5) ____ why English-speaking countries top the world’s obesity league. One theory is that they are all copying an American lifestyle; people eat a lot of fast food and a lot of it is in sizes (6) ____ larger than those found in the rest of the world.

The OECD report contains some interesting statistics. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rates. They are expected to (7) ____ by another 15 per cent over the next decade. This (8) ____ to an increase of five per cent in South Korea. Education makes a big difference to weight in America and Sweden. (9) ____ educated women are 30 per cent more (10) ____ to be overweight than those who had a good education. Swedish women with poor educations are more than twice as overweight as educated women. In the USA and UK, children are (11) ____ overweight. Around 30 per cent of British kids are overweight, compared with 40 per cent for their American counterparts. In Sweden, one person (12) ____ ten is obese, although more than half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight there.

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

1.

(a)

obese

(b)

obedient

(c)

obedience

(d)

obesity

2.

(a)

to

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

of

3.

(a)

to

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

of

4.

(a)

slim

(b)

slimming

(c)

slimmest

(d)

slimmed

5.

(a)

wandering

(b)

winding

(c)

wondering

(d)

wonderful

6.

(a)

considerable

(b)

considerably

(c)

considers

(d)

considerate

7.

(a)

raise

(b)

height

(c)

up

(d)

rise

8.

(a)

compares

(b)

comparative

(c)

comparison

(d)

comparing

9.

(a)

Poverty

(b)

Poorly

(c)

Poor

(d)

Pour

10.

(a)

likelihood

(b)

likeable

(c)

liked

(d)

likely

11.

(a)

particulars

(b)

particular

(c)

particularly

(d)

peculiarly

12.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

an

(d)

of

WRITING

Write about being overweight 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 being overweight. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. LOSING WEIGHT: Make a poster about losing weight. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BEING OVERWEIGHT: Write a magazine article about being overweight. Include imaginary interviews with people who are overweight and who have lost weight.

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 a health expert. Ask him/her three questions about being overweight. Give him/her three suggestions on how to lose weight. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

rates

a.

levels

2

experts

b.

specialists

3.

theory

c.

hypothesis

4.

copying

d.

replicating

5.

considerably

e.

a lot

6.

statistics

f.

data

7.

rise

g.

increase

8.

likely

h.

probable

9.

particularly

i.

especially

10.

counterparts

j.

equals

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

countries with the highest

a.

obesity rates

2

according to a

b.

new report

3.

This is followed

c.

by the USA

4.

Health experts are now wondering

d.

why

5.

considerably

e.

larger

6.

The OECD report contains some

f.

interesting statistics

7.

expected to rise by

g.

another 15 per cent

8.

Education makes a

h.

big difference

9.

more than twice as overweight

i.

as educated women

10.

their American

j.

counterparts

GAP FILL:

English speaking nations most overweight

Six of the seven countries with the highest obesity rates are English-speaking nations. This is according to a new report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development). The country at the top of the list is the USA. This is followed by Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. The OECD looked at 33 different countries. The other 26 countries were non-English speaking. The ten slimmest countries included Japan, Korea, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. Health experts are now wondering why English-speaking countries top the world’s obesity league. One theory is that they are all copying an American lifestyle; people eat a lot of fast food and a lot of it is in sizes considerably larger than those found in the rest of the world.

The OECD report contains some interesting statistics. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rates. They are expected to rise by another 15 per cent over the next decade. This compares to an increase of five per cent in South Korea. Education makes a big difference to weight in America and Sweden. Poorly educated women are 30 per cent more likely to be overweight than those who had a good education. Swedish women with poor educations are more than twice as overweight as educated women. In the USA and UK, children are particularly overweight. Around 30 per cent of British kids are overweight, compared with 40 per cent for their American counterparts. In Sweden, one person in ten is obese, although more than half of adult men and a third of adult women are overweight there.

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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