You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
People are consuming more and more sugar-based drinks. Why? What can be done to reduce sugary drink consumption?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that the consumption of drinks with added sugar is increasing globally, even in less developed countries. While a number of factors explain this trend, some countries have taken measures to reduce the intake of sweetened drinks.
Heavy marketing is the principal reason why the consumption of sugar-based drinks has increased rapidly. This trend is of concern to the World Health Organisation because it carries health risks, including life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. The soft-drinks manufacturers advertise their products to a target audience of young children and adolescents. This strategy encourages youngsters to form the lifetime habit of buying these drinks, as they are soon addicted to the high sugar content. They put on weight, are prone to obesity and find it difficult to keep their teeth healthy.
There are three measures that would be effective in tackling the rise in the popularity of sugary drinks. Firstly, governments should raise taxes on the sales of soft drinks. This has been done in France, for example, and could be implemented by other countries, too. Secondly, vending machines must be removed from public places, discouraging the consumption of sugary drinks in schools, bus stations, cinemas and hospitals. Finally, health awareness campaigns on TV and the internet could help in combatting the promotion
of soft drinks by marketing agencies, including the compulsory addition of health warnings on labels, as in the case of tobacco products.
In conclusion, although the promotion of soft drinks has resulted in increased sales, effective steps can be taken to reverse this trend.
Vocabulary from health:
to carry health risks: to have effects which could be bad for one’s health
Example: Smoking and drinking alchohol are potentially dangerous habits, because they carry serious health risks.
life-threatening conditions: illnesses which are likely to kill somebody
Example: Great advances have been made in the treatment of life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
to be addicted to sth: to be unable to stop taking harmful drugs, tobacco or alcohol.
Example: More specialist clinics, offering treatment and advice, are required to help people who are addicted to drugs.
to be prone to obesity: to be likely to become fat [in an unhealthy way]
Example: Children who are addicted to watching television, instead of playing outdoor games, are more prone to obesity.
to keep their teeth healthy: to take care of their teeth by cleaning them regularly
Example: Advertisements encourage youngsters to brush their teeth several times a day in order to keep their teeth healthy.
health awareness campaigns: publicity to encourage people to be concerned about looking after their health.
Example: Public health awareness campaigns are essential if people are to accept that they have a personal responsibility to look after their own health.
Vocabulary from media and advertising:
target audience: consumers whom businesses aim at when selling their products
Example: Companies which sell soft drinks, like Coca Cola, aim mainly at a target audience of children and adolescents.
Vocabulary from food and diet:
to put on weight: to become fatter and heavier
Example: Those who wish to avoid putting on weight should avoid fatty and sugary foods.
Vocabulary from government:
to raise taxes on: to increase the amount of tax on something
Example: Governments should raise taxes on cigarettes to persuade more people to give up smoking.
intake [noun]: the amount of food or drink that you take into your body Example: The doctor advised John to reduce his daily intake of salt.
vending machine [noun]: a machine from which you can buy cigarettes, drinks etc by putting money into it
Example: In hospitals, hospital authorities must ban cigarette vending machines.