GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 208
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Obesity is now a major global epidemic. What can be done to tackle this increasingly common problem?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Nowadays, the obesity issue and health complications due to this have reached an epic proportion around the world. The governments, however, should adopt effective steps, like introducing a higher tax on junk foods and banning television commercials for nutrient-poor foods to curb the global burden of obesity.
To commence with, governments should levy a tax on sugary drinks and fast food as the excessive consumption of sugar and fat is a key contributor to obesity. In the present food environment, sugary drinks are a vital source of sugar in the diet, and fast food is highly popular among the young generation. Their intake is increasing dramatically in most nations, particularly amongst children and adolescents. This is why taxation on sugary drinks and fast food can prove to be an effective intervention to cut down their consumptions. For instance, a recent study shows that putting a tax on sugary drinks that raises prices by 20% can cause a decrease in consumption of around 20%, therefore preventing obesity to some extent.
Apart from putting taxes on sugary drinks and junk foods, restrictions of their advertisement is another silver bullet for controlling the epidemic of obesity. The rationale behind banning television and digital commercials for unhealthy foods and drinks is that exposure to food advertisement augments the intake of fast food and sugary beverages, thus contributing to high rates of obesity. Because many people, particularly children, are unable to discern the persuasive intent of advertising, they remain blissfully unaware of the negative health consequences of eating unhealthy junk foods and drinks. This, in turn, leads to growing consumption of nutrition poor food and eventually putting people at higher risk for obesity and other health-related problems.
In conclusion, controlling obesity has become one of the world’s urgent public health priorities. Therefore, the governments should plan on introducing effective measures so as to curb obesity – including a ban on advertising unhealthy foods and a levy on foods and beverages that are high in saturated fat, sugar or salt.