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Language functions: discussing issues; reading comprehension

Topic / Vocabulary area: eating and drinking habits, health, obesity
Grammar focus: much, many, (a) few, (a) little



focus on discuss ion

Discuss the following questions.

1. Do you think you have a healthy diet?

2. What do you consider a balanced diet?

3. How often do you eat junk food? When you do, do you fear the
effect it may have on your health?

4. Are people in your country health-conscious. Do they care

about what they eat and drink?

5. How much alcohol a week do you consider safe to drink?

6. What are drinking habits in your country?

7. Does your country have strict rules regarding

underage drinking? When should young people
be allowed to buy alcohol?

8. What, do you think, can be done to tackle the

problem of underage drinking? AUGUST 2005 1

fo cus on co mprehens ion
Read the article and decide whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE:

1. The report on the British nation’s diet was published in November.

2. Pubs are not allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day.

3. The number of young people with liver disease is growing.

4. A million children under 16 are obese because of lack of government

healthy eating campaigns.

5. Junk food advertising is banned on children’s television in the UK.


A damning report on the British nation’s diet revealed a huge rise in alcohol and junk food
sales. The report was published a few months before a change of the licensing laws in
November, which will allow 24- hour drinking in pubs and shops to sell alcohol around the
According to the information provided by the Department of Health, 13 drunk children are
being taken to hospital on an average day and the number of young people with liver disease
is on the rise. Sales of alcopops, especially popular with young people, are up almost 11 per
A lot of young people do not realise the risks and consequences of excessive alcohol use and
poor diet. Soaring junk food sales are disturbing. A million children under 16 are classified as
obese despite government healthy eating campaigns. At the same time consumption of fruit
and vegetables is down by nearly 2 per cent.
How to tackle the problem? A limit on junk food advertising on children’s television, a new
system of food labelling to alert people to their health value and a ‘sensible drinking’
campaign is under discussion. The fact remains that if the problem is not tackled quickly,
large numbers of the population are going to die prematurely. AUGUST 2005 2

focus on vocabu lary
Find the words and expressions in the article.

1. critical (adjective)

2. food bad for your health (noun expression)

3. a fizzy drink containing alcohol (noun)

4. greater than normal or appropriate (adjective)

5. rising quickly (adjective)

6. try to solve, deal with something (verb)

7. to be still present (verb)

8. happening too early (adverb)

focus on id io ms

when something happens ar ound the c loc k it means that it happens all day
and night without stopping

They worked around the clock for three days and nights.

when something is on the r ise it means that it is growing (usually used with
negative trends)

Religious extremism is on the rise again.

when something is under dis cuss ion it means that it is being discussed

The project has been under discussion for over a month now. AUGUST 2005 3

focus on grammar: mu ch, many, fe w, little

? use MUCH and LITTLE with uncountable nouns

? use MANY and FEW with countable nouns

? use MUCH / MANY in negative sentences and questions; A LOT OF is

more usual in positive sentences:
I had a lot of luck.
We didn’t meet many people.

? use LITTLE and FEW when you want to say that there is not enough
of something in a negative way
I have very few friends – I’m lonely.
I have little money – I can’t lend you any.

? use A LITTLE and A FEW when you want to say that there is a small
amount of something in a positive sense
I have a few very good friends – I’m happy.
I have a little money – I can lend you some.


1. She is a great singer. He has ……………………. fans all over Europe.

2. I can’t talk to you now. I have too ………………… time.

3. I keep in touch with ……………………. from my school and next month we are
organising a reunion party.

4. – How about your German? - I can get by. I speak ……………………. German.

5. Can I ask you …………………. questions

6. I have ……………………… opportunities to go out to the pub these days, so I’d love
to have a pint with you.

7. Does he earn …………………….. money in his new job?

8. I’m not very busy today. Actually, I have ………………………….. to do. AUGUST 2005 4