English Speaking Practice-The Uk Has A Fat Problem Ep 701

Sugar: An overflowing bowl of sugar cubes with a warning sign, against a background of various sugary snacks. Stay current with UK news while learning English!

๐Ÿ“ Author: Hilary

๐Ÿ“… Published:

๐Ÿ’ฌ 3897 words โ–ช๏ธ โณ Reading Time 20 min

๐Ÿ“ฅ Download MP3 & PDF 13.4 Mb โ–ช๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘“ Read Transcript โ–ช๏ธ ๐ŸŽง Listen to Lesson

Stay Informed & Speak Fluent English

๐Ÿ“š Today's English lesson is going to focus on speaking about a topic. As always! The lesson is interesting in it's own right, and great English listening practice. But the way in which the lesson breaks down the topic makes it useful for IELTS speaking tests as well. And if you're not interested in exams, the topic is one that should appeal to everyone because its about the UK's eating problems, and "Obesity in UK News".

๐Ÿ‘‚ Why You'll Love This Lesson:

  • ๐ŸŽง Immersive Listening Experience: Hone your listening skills with our podcast, perfect for beginners to advanced learners.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Rich Vocabulary & Phrases: Expand your English with health-related terms and idioms.
  • ๐Ÿ—ฃ Conversation & Grammar Mastery: Boost your speaking and grammar proficiency through practical examples.
  • ๐ŸŒ Cultural Insight: Gain a deep understanding of British culture and public health issues.
  • ๐ŸŽ“ IELTS & Exam Preparation: Ideal for students preparing for IELTS or other language tests.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Insightful Tips & Strategies: Learn effective study techniques for rapid language improvement.

โœ”Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-speaking-practice-ielts-prep-health-issues-obesity-uk/

The greatest wealth is health.
โญ Virgil

Improve your English language fluency while gaining insights into British health trends and societal challenges. Perfect for learners at all levels! #HealthInEnglish #FluentEnglishTips

In this lesson, you're diving into more than just words. You'll immerse yourself in British culture, understanding issues that shape society. It's a chance to discuss complex topics like health, enhancing your English skills for exams like IELTS. Moreover, you'll expand your vocabulary, grasping words like 'obesity' and 'productivity' in real context.

This approach is not just about language; it's about engaging with real-world issues, making your learning relevant and alive. It's a method that will help you think in English, preparing you for fluency in both conversations and academic settings. Keep listening, keep learning, and you'll see the difference.

Health is not valued till sickness comes.
โญ Thomas Fuller

๐Ÿ“ˆ Transform Your English Today! Subscribe to Adept English for a unique blend of language learning and cultural immersion. ๐ŸŒ Visit adeptenglish.com for our podcast bundles and more!

More About This Lesson

This lesson delves into the pressing health issue of obesity in the UK. It's not just about learning English; it's an exploration of a major societal issue. With a focus on real-world topics like health, you'll dive deep into British culture, enhancing your English for exams like IELTS and beyond. You'll learn complex words like 'obesity' and 'productivity' in context, preparing you for fluent conversations and academic success.

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.
โญ Bethenny Frankel

Things you will learn from listening to today's English speaking lesson:

  1. Improves Vocabulary: Learn specific terms like 'obesity', 'productivity', 'vilify'.
  2. Cultural Insight: Understand British societal issues, enhancing cultural fluency.
  3. Listening Skills: Practice understanding varied English accents and speech speeds.
  4. Real-World Context: Engage with current topics, linking language to everyday life.
  5. Exam Preparation: Ideal for IELTS, focusing on complex discussion topics.
  6. Diverse Content: Exposure to different topics, like health and economics, broadens knowledge.
  7. Critical Thinking: Encourages analysis of news and media, sharpening thinking skills.
  8. Research Skills: Motivates independent exploration of topics mentioned in the lesson.
  9. Pronunciation Practice: Mimic speaker for better pronunciation and intonation.
  10. Subscription Benefits: Access to numerous podcasts for continuous learning.
  11. Diet and Health Focus: Learn about a relevant and globally significant topic.
  12. Engaging Format: Keeps your attention, making learning more effective and fun.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

Explore complex topics like health for exam readiness:

  • Enhanced Vocabulary: Grasp terms like 'obesity' in real-world contexts.
  • Cultural Understanding: Immerse in British society, understanding its heartbeat.
  • Engaging Content: Explore diverse, interesting topics beyond typical lessons.
  • Practical Insights: Gain current, relevant knowledge, reflecting modern English usage.
  • Build Confidence: Overcome fears of complex topics and cultural disconnect.
  • Stay Updated: Learn with current, accurate content and language.
  • Interactive Learning: Move beyond monotonous methods with varied content.
  • Personal Growth: Prepare for real conversations and academic settings.

Explore how health and societal issues intertwine in Britain while polishing your English proficiency. Stay informed and fluent! #BritishSocietyToday #FluentEnglishTips

Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day.
โญ Natalie Portman

Join Adept English now! Tune into our podcasts on YouTube or Spotify. Subscribe for more engaging, informative lessons. Enhance your English while uncovering the intricacies of British society. Start your journey with us today! ๐ŸŽง

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Navigating the intricate world of obesity and its societal impact in the UK, this English lesson is like a thrilling expedition through a dense, uncharted jungle. Every word and concept explored is a step deeper into the lush foliage of language and culture, offering learners a vivid and immersive journey into both English fluency and contemporary British issues.

  1. What is the main theme of this English lesson? This lesson explores obesity's impact on UK society. It uses a mix of current affairs and English language learning, particularly suited for IELTS and other English exams. The discussion includes the financial cost of obesity in the UK, health risks, and diet advice.
  2. How does this lesson help in learning British English? The lesson integrates learning English with understanding British culture and societal issues. It involves vocabulary building, comprehension of complex topics like health and economics, and provides exposure to the British accent and idiomatic expressions.
  3. What are some recommended resources for further understanding of obesity? Recommended resources include works by Dr. Robert Lustig, Tim Spector, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, Dr. William Li, Dr. Chris Van Tulleken, Jessie Inchauspรฉ, and Dr. Pradip Jamnadas. These provide insights into obesity and health management.
  4. What diet advice is discussed in relation to obesity? The lesson critiques the traditional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, highlighting issues with refined sugar and processed foods. It suggests focusing on diets lower in sugar and carbohydrates and includes more natural foods, like fruits and vegetables.
  5. How does the lesson address the economic aspect of obesity in the UK? The lesson discusses the financial burden of obesity, citing a study that estimates the cost at 98 billion pounds. This includes personal costs to individuals, healthcare expenses, and societal impacts like reduced productivity.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Staggering: Surprising because of being large or great.
  • Obesity: A condition where someone has a lot of body fat, which is not healthy.
  • Epidemiologists: Scientists who study diseases and how they spread.
  • Vilification: The act of saying or writing unpleasant things about someone or something, to make other people have a bad opinion of them.
  • Carbohydrate: A substance in foods like bread, rice, and potatoes that gives your body energy.
  • Crave: To have a very strong feeling of wanting something.
  • Fibre: A substance in plants that helps to keep your digestive system healthy.
  • Ultra-Processed Foods (UPFs): Foods that have been changed a lot from their original state and often have added ingredients like sugar or salt.
  • Fasting: The practice of not eating food for a specific period of time.
  • Calorie: A unit for measuring the amount of energy food provides.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: English Speaking Practice-The UK Has A Fat Problem

Current Affairs: Understanding Complex Topics - Obesity in the British News

Hi there. Today, let's stay up to date with current affairs while improving your English, focusing on the topic of obesity as covered in the UK news. This is an article from The Guardian newspaper in the UK, published on the 4th of December. ' Cost of people being overweight in UK, now 98 billion study finds'. That's a lot of money and that's a big problem!

Comprehension and vocabulary skills for IELTS

Today we'll be working on your English skills in a way that's suitable for IELTS and other English exams. Understanding and discussing complex topics like health. So we're looking at the story behind the news headline.

And if you stick around until the end of this podcast, I'll be talking about how some traditional ideas around weight loss are probably not the best ways forward. Are you still counting calories? Are you still doing low fat? Listen until the end if you are.

Hello, Iโ€™m Hilary, and youโ€™re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

And why should this matter to you as an English language learner? Well, because it's about more than just the language. It's understanding British culture and the issues that shape British society.

What we like to do at Adept English is to give you a mix of content, a variety. Like a box of chocolates! Valuable practice at understanding everyday English, there are hundreds of Adept English podcasts. You can find them on YouTube or Spotify, so don't forget to subscribe to our channel.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

And if you really want to speed up your learning, you can download our podcast bundles 50 podcasts at a time. Go to our website - adeptenglish.com -m to find out how.

Obesity costs the UK ยฃ98bn. Surprised?

So, let's unpack this headline some more. 'Cost of people being overweight in the UK, 98 billion study finds'. That is a staggering amount of money!

And this study is from the Tony Blair Institute in the UK. The link is in the transcript if you're interested.

Let's look at vocabulary first. What does the word 'overweight' mean? Well, it's a compound word, 'over', O V E R, and 'weight', W E I G H T, and it just means that 'you weigh too much, you're too heavy', if you're overweight.

And the abbreviation 98bn means '98 billion'. A 'billion', B I L L I O N, that is a lot of money. 'Billion' - it means 'a thousand million', so it's a figure with nine zeros on the end.

And the word that you often hear in the context of this discussion is 'obesity'. O B E S I T Y. We talk about the 'obesity crisis'.

So 'obesity' is the noun and the adjective for people who suffer from 'obesity' is 'obese', O B E S E. And it's actually a technical term. It means specifically people who have a Body Mass Index above a certain level, 27 to 30. If your BMI is over that, then we would term that 'obese'.


A display of various foods with calorie counts shown above each, in a nutritionist's office. Explore complex topics like health for exam readiness.

ยฉ๏ธ Adept English 2023

1 in 4 UK adults live with obesity. Why?

From the NHS website in the UK, it's estimated that around 1 in every 4 adults and 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11 are 'living with obesity'. From the Tony Blair Institute report again, "Obesity has several impacts on individuals, including an increase in the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and cancer". And of course there are many more negative health effects.

So the headline is describing the actual financial cost. It says the cost is 63 billion to people personally, so that's in things like lost income. 19 billion pounds cost to the NHS. I'm surprised it's not actually more than that.

And the cost to society is estimated at 15 billion pounds, meaning in things like lost productivity. A record 2. 4 million people are now 'too sick to work' because of obesity or being overweight.

Productivity, P R O D U C T I V I T Y. That's a noun. And it's an economic measure. How efficiently do we produce goods and services in our country? That's our 'productivity'. And of course this directly affects the wealth of a country and its economy.

Are things about to change with greater understanding of obesity?

Few people want to be overweight and the health risks are undeniable. It seems to me that the science is now there to help us understand this issue much better.

What information is needed to help us understand why are people overweight and how can people lose weight? That's no longer mysterious. We know, in other words!

It's interesting. There are a variety of medically and professionally qualified people, doctors or epidemiologists perhaps, who publish work online, publish books, or speak in podcasts on matters related to the obesity crisis.

Some names to look out for? Some of my sources, in other words,

Dr Robert Lustig, Tim Spector, of course, Dr Rangan Chatterjee's YouTube channel is also a good source. Dr William Li, that's L I, Dr Chris Van Tulleken, Jessie Inchauspรฉ and Dr Pradip Jamnadas. These are all names to look out for in this field.

And these people and their thoughts all point broadly in the same direction as far as obesity and associated ill health effects are concerned. And they're broadly aligned on the best ways to lose weight too.

Is 'official' advice out of date?

And yet the official advice, like that given by the NHS is out of date. You know, my thoughts on this, perhaps from previous podcasts - the NHS is wonderful at certain things, but lifestyle advice, not so much! And in fact, the NHS still recommends that low fat, high carbohydrate diet!

There is evidence which is accumulating around the changes that we can make to our diets to avoid obesity or to tackle weight problems. This isn't me saying it, I'm not a scientist, but I'm just passing the information on and encouraging you to do your own research.

Is sugar worse for health than we thought?

An example? It's very clear that there's far too much refined sugar in most of our diets. Official advice worries about tooth decay, but the harms done by sugar are much greater than that. Our consumption of sugar just goes up and up. It's quite addictive, and it's become normalised. 'Normalised' means 'it's so common that we think it's normal, even though it's not'.

If you celebrate Christmas, for example, just think of the amount of refined sugar that 'celebrating Christmas' tends to mean for most of us! The festive season brings huge 'health harms' with it. Sugar is much worse for our health than we ever thought it was.

And for many of us, there's not only too much sugar in our diets, but also too much carbohydrate as well. That's C A R B O H Y D R A T E. That means bread, rice, potatoes, pasta.

Again, this is 'normalised', but it's a huge part of why people might struggle with their weight. High carbohydrate food is cheap. And it's prominent in our supermarkets. High carbohydrate food is also what we crave, that's C R A V E. And if you 'crave' something, it means you 'have a very strong feeling of wanting it'. Bread, cakes, biscuits, pasta, sweets. This is what many people are drawn towards. These foods are hard to resist and they're plentiful and cheap.

Are low-fat diets actually high in carbs?

And then there's what I call 'the vilification of fat', F A T, especially saturated fat. If you 'vilify' something, that's V I L I F Y. Or the noun 'vilification'. ' To vilify' means that 'you give it a bad name. You condemn it. Perhaps unfairly'. It appears that saturated fat is not the enemy.

And there's actually some suggestion that the negative messages about fat were put out by the sugar industry in the beginning. That sounds like a conspiracy theory, doesn't it? But apparently there is evidence for this. A lot of harm has been done by that belief that 'low fat is good'. Many low fat products are high in carbohydrate and high in sugar. And they should be avoided, we're now told.

The Western diet is also harmful because of lack of fibre

For most of us eating a Western diet, there's also not enough fibre in our diet. That's F I B R E. If you eat a piece of fruit as a whole fruit, yes, you're consuming sugar, but you're also consuming quite a bit of fibre with it, if you eat it in its natural state. A plain old apple, for example. The fibre means the effect of the sugar is far less harmful than it is in foods that have fruit in them but are processed. Fibre gives you protection against sugar, in other words. And this is the way our bodies have evolved to eat fruit.

But if you eat fruit that's been processed, or worse still, you drink fruit juice, or even fruit smoothies, this isn't what nature intended, even though we might think of those things as 'healthy'. Actually you're often consuming a huge amount of sugar in these fruit drinks, without the corresponding amount of fibre that makes it safe.

And this brings me onto another topic - the harm caused by Ultra Processed Foods or UPFs. I started to cover this in podcast 665. This area of study, of focus, is very current.

Our bodies have evolved to process food in its natural state. And yet, in many Western diets, at least 50 percent of our food is 'ultra processed'. This is harmful.

Is exercise overrated for weight loss?

Also relevant - the harm done by the belief that it's exercise that helps us maintain a good weight rather than our food. If you've ever been on a running machine at the gym and you've looked at the number of calories you've burned in your 20 minute run, you'll probably have been disappointed. It might be the same as a couple of biscuits, or maybe just one biscuit!

It's a myth that you can 'exercise your way out of a poor diet'. Exercise is important and very good for you, but weight loss isn't one of the reasons to exercise, it turns out!

Fasting: A powerful weight loss tool too

Fasting, I've spoken about before on the podcast - that is also a very powerful tool. There are plenty of health reasons to restrict your eating to certain windows in the day.

Calorie counting: Weight loss advice from the 1800s?

And finally, 'calorie counting'. Calorie counting is no longer seen as the way to lose weight. The old saying 'A calorie is a calorie is a calorie' - this belief that 'it's calories that count' comes from the work of Wilbur Atwater. He was an American chemist, working in the late 1800s when science first learned that we could 'burn food' to measure the amount of energy it contains.

The science has moved on rather, since the late 1800s, I'm pleased to say. And measuring food by the number of calories it contains is out of date, despite the popularity still of calorie-restricted dieting.

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Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript

What happens inside your body when you consume fat or sugar or plant foods - it's completely different! Calories are not what matters, not a useful way of understanding food, not a useful way to try to diet and lose weight.

Speak English Smoothly ๐Ÿงฉ๐Ÿ—จ๏ธ With These Key Phrases

Are you acting on outdated health advice?

So this advice, particularly low fat and high carbohydrate diets, for years and years and years, hasn't worked. It's not helped improve people's health or their weight. But we're fortunate now we live in a time where there's advice that comes from new science that does actually work!


So I've included some links in the transcript. And if you're interested, I can cover these topics in greater depth in 2024. Just let us know!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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