In todays fastmoving world, people have less and less time to spend eating, let alone cooking. It is probably for this reason that junk food has become so popular, and theres no doubt that its here to stay. In fact, it seems that you simply cant get away from it. One British hotel group recently announced that its guests are able to order fast food through room service, a move which is seen by many as signifying a new era in the couch potato lifestyle. So what exactly is junk food?
Obviously, a diet of junk food is not the best thing for your health, particularly as it is high in saturated fat. In 1993, the Journal of National Cancer Institute reported this type of fat to be associated with a greater risk of cancer.
The best advice, then, for those who cannot live without their hamburgers or chocolate bars, is to limit the amount of junk food they eat. A little now and then will probably do no harm. But why have our eating habits changed? Its lack of time and loss of tradition, says one expert.
Another alarming thing about peoples lifestyle today is that while the amount of junk food we eat has increased, the amount of exercise we do has actually decreased. Exercise plays an important part in keeping the body fit and healthy; it helps to control our weight and, if taken regularly, can also decrease our chances of having a heart attack in later life.
Even though people nowadays are actually far more aware of the importance of exercise and healthy diet than they were a few years ago, the new unhealthy way of life is surprisingly popular. This is illustrated by statistics gathered by researchers over the past two decades.
Researchers suggest that the new generation will be much more likely to suffer from heart and liver disease. What cant be emphasized enough is the fact that a balanced diet and regular exercise bring significant health benefits.
Ironically, if they were to make time to exercise andimprove their eating habits, they would probably find that they were far better equipped to deal with their stressful lifestyles than they are now.
A.Recent research has shown that young French people, who prefer burgers and chips to rich gourmet dishes, tend to become overweight. Weight gained in adolescence is extremely hard to lose in later life, so researchers are predicting that the new French generation is not going to be admired for their slim figures as the French have traditionally been.
B.Basically, it is anything that is high in calories but lacking in nutrition. Hamburgers, crisps, chocolate bars and hot dogs fall into this category. Pizzas, although they can have vegetable and cheese toppings, are also included as they contain a lot of fat.
C.Not all junk food is bad for your health, however. Some hamburgers, for example, are very high in nutrients and low in fat. It is just a question of finding out what goes into the food before you decide to eat it.
D.Apart from the risk of cancer, another side effect of consuming highly fattening junk food is that you are likely to gain weight. This is especially true because you tend to eat more, as junk food is less satisfying and lower in vital nutrients than healthier food.
E.You can gain anything from glowing skin to an all-round feeling of good health. One way or another, the vast majority of people seem to be missing out on this, due mainly to the pressure of modern life.
F.What is more, you dont have to exercise much to gain visible benefits. Doctors say that twenty minutes exercise three times a week is all that is necessary.
G.He explains that people are too busy to cook and eat proper meals, so they grab whatever is available and that is usually junk food. Also, the style of life represented on TV, especially in music videos, is fast. Young people pick up the idea that speed means excitement, whereas anything traditional is slow and boring. As a result, they turn down traditional food and go for junk food instead.
Exercise 1. Look at the words in bold and try to explain them.
Exercise 2. Fill in the correct word(s) from the list below:
let alone, signify, nutrients, rejecting, gain, limit, predicting, glowing skin, research, adolescence, consume, tend to
1. Vegetables are an essential part of our diet as they contain a lot of (healthy substances)
2. I dont even know what a breadfruit looks like, .. what it tastes like! (not to mention)
3. You should . the amount of chocolate you eat if you want to lose weight. (restrict)
4. The stars on the label that the brandy is of the best quality. (mean)
5. Scientific .. has shown that saturated fats are a major cause of cancer. (investigation)
6. People who eat lots of sweets have dental problems. (are likely to)
7. Jill is overweight because she ate so much junk food during her . (teenage years)
8. Her .. is a result of all the fruit and vegetables she eats. (healthy-looking complexion)
9. More and more people are . meat in favor of more fruit and vegetables. (not accepting)
10. Unless you cut down on junk food and sweets, you will weight! (put on)
11. Nutritionists are that junk food consumption will increase in the near future. (foreseeing)
12. Young people large amount of carbonated drinks with their meals. (take in)
Exercise 3. Fill in the correct word(s) from the list below. Use the words only once.
room, eating, gourmet, fast-moving, vast, couch-potato, balanced, the pressure, chocolate, to do, heart, high, junk, to keep, saturated, side
1. a(n) . world
3. a(n) . lifestyle
4. the body fit
5. in calories
6. . food
7. . habits
8. . disease
9. of modern life
10. . fat
11. . service
12. . no harm
13. a(n) diet
14. .. dishes
15. the . majority
16. .. effects
Exercise 4. Choose the correct item.
1. As he didnt want to cook, he decided to . a pizza instead.
A. ask for B. demand C. order D. command
2. She had no time to go out for lunch so she a snack instead.
A. grabbed B. snatched C. took D. bit
3. I hope I wont .. weight while Im on holiday.
A. earn B. win C. put D. gain
4. After the Christmas holidays, I am going on a . because some of my favorite clothes dont fit me any more.
A. diet B. fast C. nutrition D. health
Exercise 5. Fill in the correct preposition, then choose any five items and make sentences.
1) to be popular .. sb; 2) to be high .. calories; 3) to be associated .. sb/sth; 4) to be aware sth; 5) to suffer .. sth; 6) to deal .. sb/sth; 7) to be lacking .. sth; 8) the loss .. sb/sth; 9) to miss out .. sth; 10) to prefer sb/sth .. sb/sth else.
Speak about the following:
- Reasons for the popularity of junk food
- Danger of eating junk food
- Positive effects of eating healthy food
Then, give a short talk about junk food. Use the following expressions: Although, Moreover, However, In spite of the fact that, I believe, I think, In my opinion, etc.