Sunday 29 July 2012

What is the weight of the human race?

You are going to
  • talk about obesity, eating and health
  • read a text and do a gap-fill (with differentiated options for FCE and IELTS students)
  • listen to a radio discussion on obesity and do a true / false exercise
  • look at / listen to some comments by Jamie Oliver on solutions to the obesity problem and do a gap-fill exercise
  • write an IELTS style question on the subject of obesity, food and health
  • do a crossword to practise the vocabulary used in this post

1) Discuss
  • Do you have a healthy diet?
  • What is a healthy / unhealthy diet?
  • Do some nations have better diets than others?

2) Watch
In 2009 compiled a list of the Top 10 Fattest Countries in the world based on national health surveys WHO compiled between 2000 and 2008.
  • What countries do you think were on the list?
Watch the video and find out.

3) Discuss
  • Is your country on the list?
  • What do you think causes people to become overweight?
  • Why are we all getting fatter?

4) Read
The Obesity Epidemic
Why are we getting fatter?
Read the text below and do the gap-fill to find out

Exam options
  • Click here if you want to do the same text adapted for FCE practice
  • Click here if you want to do the same text adapted for IELTS practice

5) Listen
  • What do you think is the combined weight of the human race? If you added all our weights together what would it come to?

Listen and find out

Listen again and do the true / false exercise

 6) Read
  • What solutions can you think of to prevent world obesity?

A) Read these quotes from a speech Jamie Oliver made at TED (or watch the clip below)
What solutions does he give?

B) Now fill in the gaps with the correct word from the list.

C) Look at the sentences again.
  1. Which sentences describe the problem?
  2. Which sentences offer solutions?
  3. What language does Jamie use to emphasize the urgency for solutions? 

    Answers - highlight below
    1. 1 - 6  describe the problem
    2. 8 - 14  offer solutions
    3. Urgency - have (got) to, need to, it's (profoundly) important that... , it's time for..., most importantly

    If you have time watch the clip.

    7) Write (IELTS)
    Plan and write the following essay
    Obesity is becoming a serious problem in many countries. 
    Explain the main causes and effects of this problem, and suggest some possible solutions. (250 words)

    8) Crossword
    Practise some of the vocabulary used in this post.

    Printable worksheets are here
    Crossword here

    9) More
    More reading and learning activities
    Learning Activities

    Obesity Calculator “Obese” is someone with a BMI of 30 or higher. Use this calculator by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to see how you score



    1. I love this activity. However, I would love to have the information on one file then I can share it with teacher community and we can print it or download the recording/file for further teaching.

    2. Hi Tony, thenks for your comment. You can download the activities and crossword. The links are under the crossword.