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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the real IELTS exam on the topic of taxinf sugar.

It is really, really similar to a question a few months ago about the government taxing unhealthy foods that you can read here.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Taxing Sugar

Governments in many countries have recently introduced special taxes on foods and beverages with high levels of sugar. Some think these taxes are a good idea while others disagree.

Discuss both views and give you own opinion.

Many believe that new taxes on sugary products are beneficial for the public while others feel they impinge on individual freedoms. In my opinion, despite the drawbacks, the benefits to health justify these regulations.

Those who oppose such laws point out the limits placed on less affluent customers. The wealthy can still afford to buy sugary foods and drinks as the taxes are small enough. However, poorer individuals will find that an extra few dollars for a soda or candy bar is prohibitively expensive. They will rightly feel the right to make choices about their own health and the foods they like has been restricted by government. Consumers buying sugary foods and drinks are already well aware of the associated health risks; they have simply decided to value short-term gratification over long-term health.

Nonetheless, freedom and safety will always be in conflict and this change is unequivocally for the public good. Sugar has been shown in studies to be more harmful that fatty foods and is one of the driving factors behind a variety of conditions ranging from obesity to diabetes to, allegedly, cancer. Soda companies like Coca Cola and candy manufacturers like Nestle have tapped into a basic human desire for sweets to attract customers and build their brands. Because they were allowed free latitude in the past, the only solution now is draconian taxes that can begin to slowly dissuade people from sugary products and eventually break down their dependence to a healthy, moderate level.

In conclusion, though there are class issues associated with taxing sugar, these are outweighed by their benefits to public health. Governments around the world ought to adopt some variation of these important reforms.

Analysis

1. Many believe that new taxes on sugary products are beneficial for the public while others feel they impinge on individual freedoms. 2. In my opinion, despite the drawbacks, the benefits to health justify these regulations.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who oppose such laws point out the limits placed on less affluent customers. 2. The wealthy can still afford to buy sugary foods and drinks as the taxes are small enough. 3. However, poorer individuals will find that an extra few dollars for a soda or candy bar is prohibitively expensive. 4. They will rightly feel the right to make choices about their own health and the foods they like has been restricted by government. 5. Consumers buying sugary foods and drinks are already well aware of the associated health risks; they have simply decided to value short-term gratification over long-term health.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Develop your main idea.
  3. Continue to develop by stating further results.
  4. Don’t swich to a new main idea.
  5. Summarise your argument for the paragraph.

1. Nonetheless, freedom and safety will always be in conflict and this change is unequivocally for the public good. 2. Sugar has been shown in studies to be more harmful that fatty foods and is one of the driving factors behind a variety of conditions ranging from obesity to diabetes to, allegedly, cancer. 3. Soda companies like Coca Cola and candy manufacturers like Nestle have tapped into a basic human desire for sweets to attract customers and build their brands. 4. Because they were allowed free latitude in the past, the only solution now is draconian taxes that can begin to slowly dissuade people from sugary products and eventually break down their dependence to a healthy, moderate level.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Use studies to support your ideas when possible.
  3. Develop your idea with specific, real examples.
  4. Add as much detail as you can.

1. In conclusion, though there are class issues associated with taxing sugar, these are outweighed by their benefits to public health. 2. Governments around the world ought to adopt some variation of these important reforms.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many believe that new taxes on sugary products are beneficial for the public while others feel they impinge on individual freedoms. In my opinion, despite the drawbacks, the benefits to health justify these regulations.

Those who oppose such laws point out the limits placed on less affluent customers. The wealthy can still afford to buy sugary foods and drinks as the taxes are small enough. However, poorer individuals will find that an extra few dollars for a soda or candy bar is prohibitively expensive. They will rightly feel the right to make choices about their own health and the foods they like has been restricted by government. Consumers buying sugary foods and drinks are already well aware of the associated health risks; they have simply decided to value short-term gratification over long-term health.

Nonetheless, freedom and safety will always be in conflict and this change is unequivocally for the public good. Sugar has been shown in studies to be more harmful that fatty foods and is one of the driving factors behind a variety of conditions ranging from obesity to diabetes to, allegedly, cancer. Soda companies like Coca Cola and candy manufacturers like Nestle have tapped into a basic human desire for sweets to attract customers and build their brands. Because they were allowed free latitude in the past, the only solution now is draconian taxes that can begin to slowly dissuade people from sugary products and eventually break down their dependence to a healthy, moderate level.

In conclusion, though there are class issues associated with taxing sugar, these are outweighed by their benefits to public health. Governments around the world ought to adopt some variation of these important reforms.

Answers

taxes money paid to the government

sugary products cupcakes, cakes, candy, etc.

beneficial good

the public citizens, all people

impinge limit

individual freedoms what individuals are permitted to do

despite the drawbacks regardless of the negatives

justify give reason for

regulations keep in check

oppose go against

point out argue

limits placed on restrictions on

less affluent customers poor people

afford can buy

small enough not too big

find realise

extra few dollars some more money

prohibitively expensive too much to be able to buy

rightly correctly

restricted by government limited by law

consumers people who buy, customers

associated health risks related health problems

value short-term gratification over long-term health only care about the present moment

in conflict not in agreement

unequivocally undoubtedly

public good for the benefit of all

fatty foods foods high in fat like pizza, burgers, etc.

driving factors main catalyst for

a variety of conditions many different problems

obesity fat

diabetes a sugar related disease

allegedly supposedly

manufacturers makers

tapped into exploited

attract customers get people to buy it

build their brands become more successful

free latitude leeway to do what they want

draconian old and strict

slowly dissuade over time lessen

break down reduce

dependence need for

moderate level not too much of

class issues related to how much money you make

outweighed stronger than

public health for the good of citizens’ health

ought should

adopt some variation legislate similarly

important reforms crucial changes

Pronunciation

ˈtæksɪz 
ˈʃʊgəri ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl 
ðə ˈpʌblɪk 
ɪmˈpɪnʤ 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl ˈfriːdəmz
dɪsˈpaɪt ðə ˈdrɔːbæks
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪ 
ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz
əˈpəʊz 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈlɪmɪts pleɪst ɒn 
lɛs ˈæflʊənt ˈkʌstəməz
əˈfɔːd 
smɔːl ɪˈnʌf
faɪnd 
ˈɛkstrə fjuː ˈdɒləz 
prəˈhɪbɪtɪvli ɪksˈpɛnsɪv
ˈraɪtli 
rɪsˈtrɪktɪd baɪ ˈgʌvnmənt
kənˈsjuːməz 
əˈsəʊʃɪeɪtɪd hɛlθ rɪsks
ˈvæljuː ʃɔːt-tɜːm ˌgrætɪfɪˈkeɪʃən ˈəʊvə ˈlɒŋtɜːm hɛlθ
ɪn ˈkɒnflɪkt 
ˌʌnɪˈkwɪvəkəli 
ˈpʌblɪk gʊd
ˈfæti fuːdz 
ˈdraɪvɪŋ ˈfæktəz 
ə vəˈraɪəti ɒv kənˈdɪʃənz 
əʊˈbiːsɪti 
ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz 
əˈlɛʤdli
ˌmænjʊˈfækʧərəz 
tæpt ˈɪntuː 
əˈtrækt ˈkʌstəməz 
bɪld ðeə brændz
friː ˈlætɪtjuːd 
dreɪˈkəʊnjən 
ˈsləʊli dɪˈsweɪd 
breɪk daʊn 
dɪˈpɛndəns 
ˈmɒdərɪt ˈlɛvl
klɑːs ˈɪʃuːz 
aʊtˈweɪd 
ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ
ɔːt 
əˈdɒpt sʌm ˌveərɪˈeɪʃən 
ɪmˈpɔːtənt ˌriːˈfɔːmz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many believe that new t_____s on s__________________s are b___________l for t_____________c while others feel they i__________e on i____________________s. In my opinion, d______________________s, the benefits to health j________y these r______________s.

Those who o__________e such laws p_________t the l_________________n l___________________________s. The wealthy can still a______d to buy sugary foods and drinks as the taxes are s____________h. However, poorer individuals will f_____d that an e_____________s for a soda or candy bar is p____________________e. They will r_________y feel the right to make choices about their own health and the foods they like has been r________________________t. C___________s buying sugary foods and drinks are already well aware of the a______________________s; they have simply decided to v_______________________________________________h.

Nonetheless, freedom and safety will always be i____________t and this change is u____________________y for the p___________d. Sugar has been shown in studies to be more harmful that f___________s and is one of the d________________s behind a v____________________s ranging from o________y to d__________s to, a__________y, cancer. Soda companies like Coca Cola and candy m__________________s like Nestle have t____________o a basic human desire for sweets to a_____________________s and b_________________s. Because they were allowed f_______________e in the past, the only solution now is d________________n taxes that can begin to s_____________________e people from sugary products and eventually b____________n their d______________e to a healthy, m___________________l.

In conclusion, though there are c_____________s associated with taxing sugar, these are o_____________d by their benefits to p_____________h. Governments around the world o________t to a___________________n of these i_______________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn here about a family that quit sugar for a month:

Reading Practice

In contrast, learn about some popular baked goods below:

https://www.kitchenstories.com/en/stories/our-20-most-popular-sweet-baked-goods-ever

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Baking

  1. Did you learn to bake as a child?
  2. Do you bake often?
  3. What foods are baked in your country?
  4. Is baking popular in your country?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic ans then check with my sample answer:

More and more people today are drinking sugar-based drinks.

What are the reasons for this?

What are the solutions?


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