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Date: Apr 18, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

NYC restaurants must put calories on menus

Restaurants in New York City that have 15 or more outlets must now put calories on their menus. The decision, made by Judge Richard J. Holwell, will affect around 2,000 different eateries, including big-name chains such as McDonalds and Starbucks. This figure makes up almost ten percent of all the restaurants in the city. The city’s Department of Health believes the new rule on posting calories will help it achieve its goal of reducing obesity, which is one of the biggest health problems in America. Judge Holwell said: "It seems reasonable to expect that some consumers will use the information disclosed…to select lower calorie meals…and these choices will lead to a lower [rate] of obesity." New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden stated the decision was a victory for New Yorkers. "It will give people information they need, where they need it," he said.


 
 

Many of the restaurants affected by the new ruling are not happy. New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt said it should be up to restaurants to decide if they want to include calories on their menus. He said: “Our problem was the government…forcing them to do it. We think restaurants should be able to determine from their customers how they want to get the information." He added: “We continue to say that each restaurant should make decisions about the best way to provide this nutritional information to their customers.” He also highlighted that: “Most of the restaurants that are being affected were already providing this information, but in a different format.” Dr. Frieden disagreed, saying: "McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are desperate to keep this information out of the hands of their customers."

WARM-UPS

1. CALORIES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about calories. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

 

restaurants / calories / big-name chains / reducing obesity / health problems / victories / not happy / being forced to do things / making decisions / nutrition / being desperate

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

3. MENU INFORMATION: Which of the information below would you like to see on a restaurant menu? Talk about this with your partner(s). Rate each item from 10 (I need this info) to 1 (I don’t need this info). Change partners and share your ideas.

  • price
  • calorie count of dishes
  • ingredients
  • origin of ingredients
  • how any animals are killed
  • qualifications of chef
  • recipe of the dish
  • health benefits of the dish
  • exact waiting time to receive your food
  • how much profit is made on your order

4. OPINIONS: Talk with your partner(s) abut thee opinions. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Change partners and share your ideas.

  • People will eat what they want even if there is calorie information on menus.
  • I have friends who would take forever deciding what to eat if calorie information was put on the menu.
  • Putting calorie information on the menu will take the fun away from eating.
  • I would order the high-calorie stuff - it’s always the tastiest.
  • All restaurants, no matter how small, should put calorie information on their menus.
  • Big-name fast food chains are afraid of including calorie information on their menus.
  • Cigarettes have health warnings but people still smoke. Putting calorie information on menus would be useless.
  • People are sensible enough to make their own decisions about what they eat.

5. MENU: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘menu’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A strongly believe that all restaurants should include calorie information on their menus; Students B strongly believe no restaurants should have to do this. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

All restaurants in New York City have to put calories on their menus.

T / F

b.

Fast-food restaurants do not have to provide calorie info on menus.

T / F

c.

The city is trying to reduce the levels of obesity among New Yorkers.

T / F

d.

The city’s health commissioner said the news on calories was great.

T / F

e.

Restaurants are unhappy at having to provide information on calories.

T / F

f.

Restaurant owners said they should decide when to put info on menus.

T / F

g.

A restaurant official said no restaurants were providing info on calories.

T / F

h.

An NYC official believes McDonalds wants to keep quiet on calorie info.

T / F

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

1.

eateries

a.

reach

2

makes up

b.

eager

3.

achieve

c.

impacted

4.

obesity

d.

making

5.

disclosed

e.

pointed out

6.

affected

f.

being overweight

7.

forcing

g.

restaurants

8.

determine

h.

released

9.

highlighted

i.

decide

10.

desperate

j.

adds up to

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

Restaurants in New York City that have

a.

for New Yorkers

2

affect around 2,000

b.

different format

3.

This figure makes up almost

c.

15 or more outlets

4.

choices will lead to a lower rate

d.

to decide

5.

the decision was a victory

e.

nutritional information

6.

the restaurants affected

f.

different eateries

7.

it should be up to restaurants

g.

of obesity

8.

the best way to provide this

h.

of their customers

9.

providing this information, but in a

i.

10% of all the restaurants

10.

keep this information out of the hands

j.

by the new ruling

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Restaurants in New York City that have 15 or more __________ must now put calories on their menus. The __________, made by Judge Richard J. Holwell, will affect around 2,000 different eateries, including big-name __________ such as McDonalds and Starbucks. This figure makes up almost ten percent of all the restaurants in the city. The city’s Department of Health believes the new rule on posting calories will help it __________ its goal of reducing obesity, which is one of the biggest __________ problems in America. Judge Holwell said: "It seems reasonable to expect that some consumers will use the information __________ …to select lower calorie meals…and these choices will __________ to a lower [rate] of obesity." New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden stated the decision was a __________ for New Yorkers. “It will give people information they need, where they need it,” he said.

 

disclosed
decision
health
outlets
victory
achieve
lead
chains

Many of the restaurants affected by the new __________ are not happy. New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt said it should be up to restaurants to decide if they want to __________ calories on their menus. He said: “Our problem was the government…__________ them to do it. We think restaurants should be able to determine from their customers how they want to __________ the information." He added: “We continue to say that each restaurant should make decisions about the best way to __________ this nutritional information to their customers.” He also highlighted that: “Most of the restaurants that are being __________ were already providing this information, but in a different __________." Dr. Frieden disagreed, saying: "McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are desperate to keep this information out of the __________ of their customers."

 

format
 forcing

affected
include
provide
get
hands
ruling

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Restaurants in New York City that have 15 ____________________ now put calories on their menus. The decision, made by Judge Richard J. Holwell, will affect around 2,000 different eateries, including big-____________________ McDonalds and Starbucks. This figure makes up almost ten percent of all the restaurants in the city. The city’s Department of Health believes ______________________ calories will help it achieve its goal ____________________, which is one of the biggest health problems in America. Judge Holwell said: "It seems reasonable to expect that some _______________________ information disclosed…to select lower calorie meals…and these choices will lead to a lower [rate] of obesity." New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden stated the ____________________ for New Yorkers. “It will give people information they need, where they need it,” he said.

Many of the restaurants ____________________ ruling are not happy. New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt said ____________________ restaurants ____________________ to include calories on their menus. He said: “Our problem was the government…forcing them to do it. We think restaurants should ____________________ from their customers how they want to get the information." He added: “We continue to say that each restaurant should make decisions ____________________ to provide this nutritional information to their customers.” He also highlighted that: “Most of the restaurants that are being affected were ____________________ information, but in a different format." Dr. Frieden disagreed, saying: "McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are desperate to keep this information ____________________ their customers."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

restaurant

chain

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • 15
  • 2,000
  • 10%
  • goal
  • choices
  • victory
  • happy
  • official
  • facing
  • provide
  • format
  • hands

STUDENT RESTAURANT SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about restaurants 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.

RESTAURANT 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 ‘restaurant’?

c)

Do you think there is enough information on menus?

d)

Do you worry about calories when you go into a restaurant?

e)

Do you think all restaurants, not just the big-name chains, need to have information about calories on their menus?

f)

What calorie information is available on menus in your country?

g)

Do you think providing customers with information on calories will reduce levels of obesity?

h)

Would you not order something on a menu because of the calorie count?

i)

What kind of victory is this decision for New Yorkers?

j)

What are the biggest health problems in your country and what is your government doing about them?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you understand why restaurant owners are not happy?

c)

Should it be up to restaurants or the government to decide who puts information about calories on menus?

d)

Do you think New York’s restaurant customers will now change their eating habits?

e)

Why do you think high calorie food is much more delicious than food with fewer calories?

f)

What do you of McDonalds for wanting to keep calorie information out of the hands of their customers?

g)

What do you know about calories?

h)

How long do you spend looking at restaurant menus?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Chuck Hunt?

j)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

Restaurants in New York City that have 15 or (1) ____ outlets must now put calories on their menus. The decision, (2) ____ by Judge Richard J. Holwell, will affect around 2,000 different eateries, including big-name chains such as McDonalds and Starbucks. This figure (3) ____ up almost ten percent of all the restaurants in the city. The city’s Department of Health believes the new rule (4) ____ posting calories will help it achieve its goal of reducing obesity, which is one of the biggest health problems in America. Judge Holwell said: "It seems reasonable to expect (5) ____ some consumers will use the information disclosed…to select lower calorie meals…and these choices will lead to a lower [rate] of obesity." New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden stated the decision was a (6) ____ for New Yorkers. “It will give people information they need, where they need it,” he said.

Many of the restaurants affected (7) ____ the new ruling are not happy. New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt said it should be (8) ____ to restaurants to decide if they want to include calories on their menus. He said: “Our problem was the government…forcing them to do it. We think restaurants should be able to (9) ____ from their customers how they want to get the information." He added: “We continue to (10) ____ that each restaurant should make decisions about the best way to provide this nutritional information to their customers.” He also highlighted that: “Most of the restaurants that are being affected were already (11) ____ this information, but in a different format." Dr. Frieden disagreed, saying: "McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are desperate to keep this information out of the (12) ____ of their customers."

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

1.

(a)

more

(b)

many

(c)

most

(d)

greater

2.

(a)

took

(b)

done

(c)

made

(d)

decides

3.

(a)

takes

(b)

makes

(c)

bakes

(d)

fakes

4.

(a)

down

(b)

in

(c)

up

(d)

on

5.

(a)

these

(b)

then

(c)

that

(d)

the

6.

(a)

victory

(b)

winner

(c)

conquest

(d)

landslide

7.

(a)

to

(b)

in

(c)

for

(d)

by

8.

(a)

over

(b)

up

(c)

through

(d)

in

9.

(a)

determined

(b)

determination

(c)

determine

(d)

determines

10.

(a)

say

(b)

tell

(c)

speak

(d)

voice

11.

(a)

provide

(b)

providing

(c)

provision

(d)

provides

12.

(a)

wallets

(b)

stomachs

(c)

mouths

(d)

hands

WRITING: 

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

3. CALORIES: Make a poster about different restaurants and the calorie their information about different items on their menus. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. FAST FOOD INFO: Write a magazine article about a big-name restaurant chain trying to keep calorie information out of the hands of their customers. Include imaginary interviews with the CEO of the company and a customer who wants info on calories contained in the restaurant’s meals.

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 New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should do to ensure customers are given enough information about calories. Ask him three questions about the new ruling. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: Spend one day writing about all the food, snacks and drinks you have during that day. How many calories are in each (you may have to use the Internet to find out this information). Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

eateries

a.

restaurants

2

makes up

b.

adds up to

3.

achieve

c.

reach

4.

obesity

d.

being overweight

5.

disclosed

e.

released

6.

affected

f.

impacted

7.

forcing

g.

making

8.

determine

h.

decide

9.

highlighted

i.

pointed out

10.

desperate

j.

eager

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Restaurants in New York City that have

a.

15 or more outlets

2

affect around 2,000

b.

different eateries

3.

This figure makes up almost

c.

10% of all the restaurants

4.

choices will lead to a lower rate

d.

of obesity

5.

the decision was a victory

e.

for New Yorkers

6.

the restaurants affected

f.

by the new ruling

7.

it should be up to restaurants

g.

to decide

8.

the best way to provide this

h.

nutritional information

9.

providing this information, but in a

i.

different format

10.

keep this information out of the hands

j.

of their customers

GAP FILL:

NYC restaurants must put calories on menus

Restaurants in New York City that have 15 or more outlets must now put calories on their menus. The decision, made by Judge Richard J. Holwell, will affect around 2,000 different eateries, including big-name chains such as McDonalds and Starbucks. This figure makes up almost ten percent of all the restaurants in the city. The city’s Department of Health believes the new rule on posting calories will help it achieve its goal of reducing obesity, which is one of the biggest health problems in America. Judge Holwell said: "It seems reasonable to expect that some consumers will use the information disclosed…to select lower calorie meals…and these choices will lead to a lower [rate] of obesity." New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden stated the decision was a victory for New Yorkers. “It will give people information they need, where they need it,” he said.

Many of the restaurants affected by the new ruling are not happy. New York State Restaurant Association official Chuck Hunt said it should be up to restaurants to decide if they want to include calories on their menus. He said: “Our problem was the government…forcing them to do it. We think restaurants should be able to determine from their customers how they want to get the information." He added: “We continue to say that each restaurant should make decisions about the best way to provide this nutritional information to their customers.” He also highlighted that: “Most of the restaurants that are being affected were already providing this information, but in a different format." Dr. Frieden disagreed, saying: "McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are desperate to keep this information out of the hands of their customers."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - b

4 - d

5 - c

6 - a

7 - d

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - b

12 - d

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