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Red Meat Increases Risk of Cancer (27th February, 2011)


 

Health authorities in Britain have advised against eating too much red meat. The British government has issued a set of red meat guidelines which caution against eating more than 500 grams a week, or 70 grams a day. This is the equivalent of two beef burgers. Scientists say that eating more than this increases the risk of getting colon and bowel cancer. The new limits are down on the 90 grams a day recommended in 1998. Researchers think people who eat a lot of meat like lamb, beef, ham and bacon have a higher risk of cancer. A 2005 European study found people who ate about 160 grams of red meat a day increased their bowel cancer risk by one third compared to people who ate little meat. People have around a one in 19 chance of developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Experts told people the new guidelines did not mean people had to abandon red meat. The head of health information at Cancer Research U.K. said: "This doesn't mean people have to become vegetarian, but if you're having a steak every day, that's probably not helping.” Scientists are unsure as to why red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. They suspect that haem, the pigment that gives meat its colour, damages the cells in the digestive system and the lining of the colon. A World Cancer Research Fund official said: "Following simple diet and lifestyle advice can help protect against cancer. Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals…But people who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider cutting down.”


WARM-UPS

1. MEAT: Walk around the class and talk to other students about meat. 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.

 

health authorities / eating too much / guidelines / cancer / beef / bacon / lifetime / experts / abandon / health information / digestive cells / lifestyle / balanced diet

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

3. NUTRITION: What do you know? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Food

Nutritional content

How much per day is good?

Red meat

 

 

Banana

 

 

Wine

 

 

Chocolate

 

 

Cheese

 

 

Rice

 

 

4. DIET: Students A strongly believe our diets will get healthier; Students B strongly believe they won’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. HEALTH: What’s most important to stay healthy? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most important at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Money
  • Happiness
  • Sleep
  • Lack of stress
  • Exercise
  • Not smoking and drinking
  • An active mind

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

Britain’s government has said people should give up red meat.

T / F

b.

Scientists say red meat increases the risk of getting colon cancer.

T / F

c.

Britain has reduced its recommended red meat limits by 20g a day.

T / F

d.

Nineteen people die each year from bowel cancer in Britain.

T / F

e.

Experts advised people to become vegetarians.

T / F

f.

Another expert says a steak a day is good for you.

T / F

g.

An agent in red meat breaks down the cells in our digestive system.

T / F

h.

A cancer research official said people should eat less processed meat.

T / F

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

1.

issued

a.

chance

2

guidelines

b.

think about

3.

caution

c.

uncertain

4.

risk

d.

rules

5.

chance

e.

gave

6.

experts

f.

give up

7.

abandon

g.

likelihood

8.

unsure

h.

wall

9.

lining

i.

specialists

10.

consider

j.

warn

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

1.

advised against eating

a.

increases the risk

2

issued a set of red meat

b.

in 19 chance

3.

eating more than this

c.

lifestyle advice

4.

increased their bowel cancer

d.

guidelines

5.

around a one

e.

digestive system

6.

people had to abandon

f.

meat its colour

7.

the pigment that gives

g.

too much red meat

8.

damages the cells in the

h.

of protein

9.

Following simple diet and

i.

risk by one third

10.

It is a good source

j.

red meat

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Health authorities in Britain have (1) ____________ against eating too much red meat. The British government has (2) ____________ a set of red meat guidelines which caution against eating more than 500 grams a week, or 70 grams a day. This is the (3) ____________ of two beef burgers. Scientists say that eating more than this increases the risk of getting colon and bowel cancer. The new (4) ____________ are down on the 90 grams a day recommended in 1998. Researchers think people who eat a lot of meat like lamb, beef, ham and bacon have a (5) ____________ risk of cancer. A 2005 European study found people who ate about 160 grams of red meat a day (6) ____________ their bowel cancer risk by one third (7) ____________ to people who ate little meat. People have around a one in 19 (8) ____________ of developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

 

 

 

increased
equivalent
chance
issued
advised
higher
limits
compared

Experts told people the new guidelines did not (9) ____________ people had to abandon red meat. The (10) ____________ of health information at Cancer Research U.K. said: "This doesn't mean people have to become vegetarian, but if you're having a steak every day, that's probably not (11) ____________.” Scientists are (12) ____________ as to why red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. They suspect that haem, the pigment that gives meat its (13) ____________, damages the cells in the digestive system and the lining of the colon. A World Cancer Research Fund official said: "Following simple (14) ____________ and lifestyle advice can help protect against cancer. Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a good (15) ____________ of protein and vitamins and minerals…But people who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider (16) ____________ down.”

 

 

unsure
diet
helping
cutting
mean
source
colour
head

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Health authorities in Britain ______________________ eating too much red meat. The British government ______________________ red meat guidelines which caution against eating more than 500 grams a week, or 70 grams a day. This ______________________ two beef burgers. Scientists say that eating more than this increases the risk of getting colon and bowel cancer. The ______________________ on the 90 grams a day recommended in 1998. Researchers think people who eat a lot of meat like lamb, beef, ham and bacon ______________________ cancer. A 2005 European study found people who ate about 160 grams of red meat a day increased their bowel cancer risk by one third compared to people who ate little meat. People have ______________________ chance of developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Experts told people the new guidelines did not mean ______________________ red meat. The head of health information at Cancer Research U.K. said: "This doesn't mean people have to become vegetarian, but ______________________ steak every day, that's probably not helping.” Scientists are unsure as to why red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. They suspect that haem, ______________________ gives meat its colour, damages the cells ______________________ and the lining of the colon. A World Cancer Research Fund official said: "Following simple diet and lifestyle advice can help protect against cancer. Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It ______________________ protein and vitamins and minerals…But people who eat a lot of red ______________________ should consider cutting down.”

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

red

meat

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • much
  • burgers
  • down
  • higher
  • third
  • 19
  • abandon
  • vegetarian
  • unsure
  • colour
  • simple
  • consider

STUDENT RED MEAT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about red meat 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.

RED MEAT 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 ‘meat’?

c)

What do you think of the U.K. government’s guideline?

d)

Do we absolutely need to eat meat?

e)

Is red meat good for us?

f)

Would you cut down on a food if your government said it caused cancer?

g)

Do you worry about what you eat?

h)

Do you believe scientists when they report on what can give us cancer?

i)

What do you know about cancer?

j)

Why is it better to eat white meat than red meat?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What could people eat instead of red meat?

c)

Do you think it’s difficult to cut down on a food you love?

d)

Should we all become vegetarians?

e)

Would the world be a better place if we were all vegetarian?

f)

Do you have a balanced diet?

g)

Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

h)

Should you consider cutting down on anything?

i)

What could you do to have a healthier life?

j)

What questions would you like to ask an expert on nutrition?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Health authorities in Britain have (1) ____ against eating too much red meat. The British government has issued a set of red meat guidelines which caution (2) ____ eating more than 500 grams a week, or 70 grams a day. This is the equivalent of two beef burgers. Scientists say that eating more than this increases the (3) ____ of getting colon and bowel cancer. The new limits are (4) ____ on the 90 grams a day recommended in 1998. Researchers think people who eat a lot of meat like lamb, beef, ham and bacon have a higher risk of cancer. A 2005 European study found people who ate about 160 grams of red meat a day increased their bowel cancer risk by one third compared (5) ____ people who ate little meat. People have around a one in 19 (6) ____ of developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Experts told people the new guidelines did not mean people had to (7) ____ red meat. The head of health information at Cancer Research U.K. said: "This doesn't mean people have to become vegetarian, but if you're having a steak every day, that's probably not (8) ____.” Scientists are unsure (9) ____ to why red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. They suspect that haem, the pigment that gives meat its colour, (10) ____ the cells in the digestive system and the lining of the colon. A World Cancer Research Fund official said: "Following simple diet and lifestyle advice can help (11) ____ against cancer. Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals…But people who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider cutting (12) ____.”

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

1.

(a)

advice

(b)

advises

(c)

advise

(d)

advised

2.

(a)

for

(b)

against

(c)

by

(d)

at

3.

(a)

risk

(b)

risked

(c)

risky

(d)

riskily

4.

(a)

low

(b)

under

(c)

down

(d)

decrease

5.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

on

6.

(a)

enhance

(b)

chance

(c)

prance

(d)

entrance

7.

(a)

abandon

(b)

flee

(c)

escape

(d)

trash

8.

(a)

helper

(b)

helped

(c)

helps

(d)

helping

9.

(a)

has

(b)

as

(c)

was

(d)

is

10.

(a)

damaged

(b)

damaging

(c)

damage

(d)

damages

11.

(a)

protection

(b)

protective

(c)

protect

(d)

protects

12.

(a)

down

(b)

up

(c)

along

(d)

through

WRITING

Write about red meat 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 red meat and cancer. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. RED MEAT: Make a poster about red meat. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. VEGETARIAN: Write a magazine article about vegetarianism. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against eating meat.

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 nutritionist. Ask him/her three questions about red meat and vegetarianism. Give him/her three of your opinions. 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.

T

d.

F

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

issued

a.

gave

2

guidelines

b.

rules

3.

caution

c.

warn

4.

risk

d.

chance

5.

chance

e.

likelihood

6.

experts

f.

specialists

7.

abandon

g.

give up

8.

unsure

h.

uncertain

9.

lining

i.

wall

10.

consider

j.

think about

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

advised against eating

a.

too much red meat

2

issued a set of red meat

b.

guidelines

3.

eating more than this

c.

increases the risk

4.

increased their bowel cancer

d.

risk by one third

5.

around a one

e.

in 19 chance

6.

people had to abandon

f.

red meat

7.

the pigment that gives

g.

meat its colour

8.

damages the cells in the

h.

digestive system

9.

Following simple diet and

i.

lifestyle advice

10.

It is a good source

j.

of protein

GAP FILL:

Red meat increases risk of cancer

Health authorities in Britain have (1) advised against eating too much red meat. The British government has (2) issued a set of red meat guidelines which caution against eating more than 500 grams a week, or 70 grams a day. This is the (3) equivalent of two beef burgers. Scientists say that eating more than this increases the risk of getting colon and bowel cancer. The new (4) limits are down on the 90 grams a day recommended in 1998. Researchers think people who eat a lot of meat like lamb, beef, ham and bacon have a (5) higher risk of cancer. A 2005 European study found people who ate about 160 grams of red meat a day (6) increased their bowel cancer risk by one third (7) compared to people who ate little meat. People have around a one in 19 (8) chance of developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Experts told people the new guidelines did not (9) mean people had to abandon red meat. The (10) head of health information at Cancer Research U.K. said: "This doesn't mean people have to become vegetarian, but if you're having a steak every day, that's probably not (11) helping.” Scientists are (12) unsure as to why red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. They suspect that haem, the pigment that gives meat its (13) colour, damages the cells in the digestive system and the lining of the colon. A World Cancer Research Fund official said: "Following simple (14) diet and lifestyle advice can help protect against cancer. Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a good (15) source of protein and vitamins and minerals…But people who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider (16) cutting down.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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