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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about the topic of health, governments and individuals.

It is really common to get questions that show the conflict between individuals and the government/society/companies.

Keep reading to see how I deal with it and practice some useful grammar and vocabulary.

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

These are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Health Problems Individuals/Governments (Real IELTS Exam)

Many people believe that every individual is responsible for his/her own healthy lifestyle. Others believe that governments should take care of it. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. 2. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

1. My first sentence quickly states the topic for the essay – spend a lot of time understanding the question correctly but don’t waste time writing this sentence – it isn’t that important!

2. Next is my opinion. State your opinion 100% clearly or you risk getting band 5 for task achievement!

1. Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. 2. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. 3. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. 4. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence with my main idea for the whole paragraph (governments had a large impact in schools). Write a short, simple topic sentence to make your writing clear to the examiner!

2. My second sentence starts my example. Don’t waste any time – get right to your example and start to develop it for a really high task achievement score.

3. The third sentence continues to develop my example by talking about the specific effects of healthy foods at school.

4. My fourth sentence concludes the examples by further talking about the impact later in life for students who develop healthy eating habits from a young age due to government intervention.

1. While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. 2. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. 3. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. 4. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. 5. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. 6. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence for this paragraph – again, keep it short, simple and clear as this will help both your cohesion/coherence and task achievement scores!

2. The second sentence begins to develop my main idea by explaining why unhealthy eating is so common.

3. The third sentence develops my idea by giving a counter-example: even with government intervention people still eat unhealthily.

4. My fourth sentence gives a more specific example to support my argument.

5. The fifth sentence suggests that people need to develop their own habits.

6. The sixth sentence argues that people who develop their own habits are more likely to stick to them because they understand the reasoning behind them well.

1. In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. 2. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. 3. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

1. The first sentence repeats my opinion. Be sure to have a clear opinion (choose a side) and say it in both your introduction and conclusion for full task achievement and cohesion/coherence marks.

2. My second sentence adds further support for my opinion.

3. The third sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners require for band 7+ and above for task achievement. You only need 2 sentences in your conclusion – maximum 3! 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words in bold mean? If you’re not sure, don’t use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

Answers:

policy advocacy: supporting a policy

proper role: what you should be responsible for

the seriousness it merits: how important it really is

ultimately rest: finally must be responsible for

stick with: continue/maintain/keep up

cultivated: grown/made themselves

strong governmental intervention: the government making strong laws/policies

point out: argue/think

early intervention: taking action at an early stage

public schools: state funded schools

vast majority: most

implementing new policies: introducing new laws/rules

curbing: slowing down

total intake: the amount consumed

drastically cut down: decreased a lot

ubiquitous: common/everywhere

short term: not too far in the future

true effect: actual impact

eschew: avoid

healthier alternatives: more healthy options

meet the growing demands: supply the desires of consumers

increasingly health-conscious nation: a country more and more concerned with health

clear benefits: definite advantages

regulating: controlling

long-term: in the distant future

get around rules: avoid mandates

most basic desires: what people desire as humans

no matter what steps governments take: regardless of what governments try to do

crave: desire

hardwired: biologically fixed

imposed strict rules: enact harsh laws

served: given

facing an obesity crises: lots of fat people

consistently combat poor health: often unhealthy

discipline: punish

worked out: figure out

imposed: force

at the behest of the government: at the government’s request

large role: big part in

take control: be in charge

truly benefit: actual positive impact on

standing back: doing nothing

self-reliant: depending on only yourself

long-lasting effects: impact in the future

empower: give power

Pronunciation

ˈpɒlɪsi ˈædvəkəsi 

ˈprɒpə rəʊl 

ðə ˈsɪərɪəsnɪs ɪt ˈmɛrɪts 

ˈʌltɪmɪtli rɛst 

stɪk wɪð 

ˈkʌltɪveɪtɪd 

strɒŋ ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃən 

pɔɪnt aʊt 

ˈɜːli ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃən 

ˈpʌblɪk skuːlz 

vɑːst məˈʤɒrɪti 

ˈɪmplɪmɛntɪŋ njuː ˈpɒlɪsiz 

ˈkɜːbɪŋ 

ˈtəʊtl ˈɪnteɪk 

ˈdræstɪk(ə)li kʌt daʊn 

ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪtəs 

ʃɔːt tɜːm 

truː ɪˈfɛkt 

ɪsˈʧuː 

ˈhɛlθɪəɔːlˈtɜːnətɪvz 

miːt ðə ˈgrəʊɪŋ dɪˈmɑːndz 

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli hɛlθˈkɒnʃəs ˈneɪʃən 

klɪə ˈbɛnɪfɪts 

ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪŋ 

ˈlɒŋtɜːm 

gɛt əˈraʊnd ruːlz 

məʊst ˈbeɪsɪk dɪˈzaɪəz 

nəʊ ˈmætə wɒt stɛps ˈgʌvnmənts teɪk 

kreɪv 

hɑːdˈwaɪəd 

ɪmˈpəʊzd strɪkt ruːlz 

sɜːvd 

ˈfeɪsɪŋ ən əʊˈbiːsɪti ˈkraɪsiːz 

kənˈsɪstəntli ˈkɒmbæt pʊə hɛlθ 

ˈdɪsɪplɪn 

wɜːkt aʊt 

ɪmˈpəʊzd 

æt ðə bɪˈhɛst ɒv ðə ˈgʌvnmənt 

lɑːʤ rəʊl 

teɪk kənˈtrəʊl 

ˈtruːli ˈbɛnɪfɪt 

ˈstændɪŋ bæk 

sɛlfrɪˈlaɪənt 

lɒŋˈlɑːstɪŋ ɪˈfɛkts 

ɪmˈpaʊə 
 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There has been much recent ___________________ related to what the ___________________ of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with ___________________, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ___________________ with individuals as they are more likely to ___________________ habits that they themselves have ___________________.

Those who favour ___________________ often ___________________ the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through ___________________ at ___________________. In the United States, the ___________________ of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been ___________________ aimed at ___________________ addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the ___________________ of saturated fats in school lunches and ___________________ on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ___________________ vending machines placed around most schools. In the ___________________ this has led to improved health for students but its ___________________ will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to ___________________ fast food for the ___________________ now opening up to ___________________ of an ___________________.

While there are ___________________ to governmental action, individuals are better at ___________________ their own behaviour in the ___________________. People have always found ways to ___________________ in order to satisfy their ___________________, including those related to food. ___________________, people will always ___________________ unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are ___________________ to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has ___________________ over the food that children are ___________________, is still ___________________. Therefore the only way for people to ___________________ is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having ___________________ the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule ___________________ by their schools ___________________.

In conclusion, governments have a ___________________ to play in public health but only individuals can ___________________ of their own lives and make decisions that will ___________________ them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. ___________________ and allowing people to become more ___________________ will not only have more ___________________ but will also ___________________ individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Which Diets Actually Work?

How the Food you Eat Affects your Brain

Myths You Learned in Health Class

Comment below – What are your most unhealthy habits?

I can’t resist …

My weak spot is …

I’m an absolute addict when it comes to …

I’ve got a real sweet tooth and I’m especially keen on …

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