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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of manufactured food and drink products containing high levels of sugar and the health problems this causes from Cambridge IELTS 16.

Don’t miss out on the other essays (and tips) from Cambridge 16 here.

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Dave

IELTS Cambridge 16: Manufactured Foods and Sugar

Many manufactured food and drink products contain high levels of sugar, which causes many health problems. Sugary products should be made more expensive to encourage people to consume less sugar.

Do you agree or disagree?

Certain concerned citizens believe that prices should be raised to counter the high sugar content in various food and drink products. In my opinion, this solution may have a marginal impact but other reforms would engender greater progress.

Supporters of this policy argue that it has been effective in the past. The best known corollary would be the high price of tobacco products in many nations. Countries where prices are low, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, have considerably higher rates of smokers compared to nations that have instituted heavy taxes. Similarly, taxation has had limited effectiveness concerning food products in European nations where sugary and fatty foods are more expensive and there has been a concomitant marginal decline in consumption. However, the more striking realization from attempts to tax luxuries is that individuals are often willing to pay to satisfy their addictions and would rather sacrifice in other areas.

Therefore, superior solutions involve more holistic government action. This can be illustrated through policies in Japan. From a young age, children are fed healthy meals at school as well as at home, and the government has encouraged health awareness through a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at various demographics. The result is that sugary drinks and products have a place in society that is less prominent than in nations such as the United States where the culture centers on fast food, soda, and packaged meals. A more thoughtful approach should not be discounted simply because of the challenges posed by enacting and evaluating small steps that are aligned and enforced consistently over a period of years.

In conclusion, the immediate and largely ineffective fix offered by raising prices is not advisable compared with more long-term measures. Governments must therefore take a long view and communicate this clearly to the general citizenry.

Analysis

1. Certain concerned citizens believe that prices should be raised to counter the high sugar content in various food and drink products. 2. In my opinion, this solution may have a marginal impact but other reforms would engender greater progress.

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

1. Supporters of this policy argue that it has been effective in the past. 2. The best known corollary would be the high price of tobacco products in many nations. 3. Countries where prices are low, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, have considerably higher rates of smokers compared to nations that have instituted heavy taxes. 4. Similarly, taxation has had limited effectiveness concerning food products in European nations where sugary and fatty foods are more expensive and there has been a concomitant marginal decline in consumption. 5. However, the more striking realization from attempts to tax luxuries is that individuals are often willing to pay to satisfy their addictions and would rather sacrifice in other areas.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples/argument.
  4. Vary long and short sentences and switch to a second reason.
  5. Stay focused on the second main idea.

1. Therefore, superior solutions involve more holistic government action. 2. This can be illustrated through policies in Japan. 3. From a young age, children are fed healthy meals at school as well as at home, and the government has encouraged health awareness through a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at various demographics. 4. The result is that sugary drinks and products have a place in society that is less prominent than in nations such as the United States where the culture centers on fast food, soda, and packaged meals. 5. A more thoughtful approach should not be discounted simply because of the challenges posed by enacting and evaluating small steps that are aligned and enforced consistently over a period of years.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, the immediate and largely ineffective fix offered by raising prices is not advisable compared with more long-term measures. 2. Governments must therefore take a long view and communicate this clearly to the general citizenry.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Certain concerned citizens believe that prices should be raised to counter the high sugar content in various food and drink products. In my opinion, this solution may have a marginal impact but other reforms would engender greater progress.

Supporters of this policy argue that it has been effective in the past. The best known corollary would be the high price of tobacco products in many nations. Countries where prices are low, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, have considerably higher rates of smokers compared to nations that have instituted heavy taxes. Similarly, taxation has had limited effectiveness concerning food products in European nations where sugary and fatty foods are more expensive and there has been a concomitant marginal decline in consumption. However, the more striking realization from attempts to tax luxuries is that individuals are often willing to pay to satisfy their addictions and would rather sacrifice in other areas.

Therefore, superior solutions involve more holistic government action. This can be illustrated through policies in Japan. From a young age, children are fed healthy meals at school as well as at home, and the government has encouraged health awareness through a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at various demographics. The result is that sugary drinks and products have a place in society that is less prominent than in nations such as the United States where the culture centers on fast food, soda, and packaged meals. A more thoughtful approach should not be discounted simply because of the challenges posed by enacting and evaluating small steps that are aligned and enforced consistently over a period of years.

In conclusion, the immediate and largely ineffective fix offered by raising prices is not advisable compared with more long-term measures. Governments must therefore take a long view and communicate this clearly to the general citizenry.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

certain particular

concerned worried

citizens people

prices should be raised they should cost more

counter solved

high sugar content has a lot of sugar in it

marginal impact small effect

reforms changes

engender create

progress moving forward

supporters those who believe in it

policy law, regulation

effective works well

corollary related example

high price very expensive

tobacco products cigarettes

considerably a lot

rates figures

smokers people who smoke

instituted heavy taxes enacted higher prices on

similarly also the same

taxation making consumers pay more

limited effectiveness not much effect

concerning having to do with

expensive costs a lot

concomitant marginal related small

consumption eating

striking realization big takeaway

attempts tries

luxuries non-essentials

satisfy their addictions consume what they crave

would rather sacrifice in other areas prefer to not buy other things

therefore thus

superior solutions better remedies

holistic government action combined action from the government

illustrated through seen by

fed healthy meals eat nutritious foods

as well as and

encouraged motivated

awareness knowing about

variety lots of different

programs initiatives

initiatives programs

aimed at directed towards

various demographics different groups of people in society

have a place in society still exist

less prominent not as noticeable

centers on revolves around

packaged meals TV dinners, unhealthy foods, etc.

thoughtful approach smart action

discounted not considered

challenges posed difficulties that may come up

enacting legislating

evaluating judging

steps stages

aligned all on the same page

enforced consistently made sure they are followed

over a period of years for a long time

immediate right away

largely ineffective fix doesn’t really help

offered by made available by

not advisable not a good idea

long-term measures will help over time

take a long view think of the future

communicate relay information

clearly definitely

general citizenry people in a country

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈsɜːtn 
kənˈsɜːnd 
ˈsɪtɪznz 
ˈpraɪsɪz ʃʊd biː reɪzd 
ˈkaʊntə 
haɪ ˈʃʊgə ˈkɒntɛnt 
ˈmɑːʤɪnəl ˈɪmpækt 
ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ɪnˈʤɛndə 
ˈprəʊgrəs
səˈpɔːtəz 
ˈpɒlɪsi 
ɪˈfɛktɪv 
kəˈrɒləri 
haɪ praɪs 
təˈbækəʊ ˈprɒdʌkts 
kənˈsɪdərəbli 
reɪts 
ˈsməʊkəz 
ˈɪnstɪtjuːtɪd ˈhɛvi ˈtæksɪz
ˈsɪmɪləli
tækˈseɪʃən 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd ɪˈfɛktɪvnəs 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ɪksˈpɛnsɪv 
kənˈkɒmɪtənt ˈmɑːʤɪnəl 
kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən
ˈstraɪkɪŋ ˌrɪəlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
əˈtɛmpts 
ˈlʌkʃəriz 
ˈsætɪsfaɪ ðeər əˈdɪkʃ(ə)nz 
wʊd ˈrɑːðə ˈsækrɪfaɪs ɪn ˈʌðər ˈeərɪəz
ˈðeəfɔː
sju(ː)ˈpɪərɪə səˈluːʃənz 
həˈlɪstɪk ˈgʌvnmənt ˈækʃ(ə)n
ˈɪləstreɪtɪd θruː 
fɛd ˈhɛlθi miːlz 
æz wɛl æz 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤd 
əˈweənəs 
vəˈraɪəti 
ˈprəʊgræmz 
ɪˈnɪʃɪətɪvz 
eɪmd æt 
ˈveərɪəs ˌdɛməˈgræfɪks
hæv ə pleɪs ɪn səˈsaɪəti 
lɛs ˈprɒmɪnənt 
ˈsɛntəz ɒn 
ˈpækɪʤd miːlz
θɔːtfʊl əˈprəʊʧ 
ˈdɪskaʊntɪd 
ˈʧælɪnʤɪz pəʊzd 
ɪˈnæktɪŋ 
ɪˈvæljʊeɪtɪŋ 
stɛps 
əˈlaɪnd 
ɪnˈfɔːst kənˈsɪstəntli 
ˈəʊvər ə ˈpɪərɪəd ɒv jɪəz
ɪˈmiːdiət 
ˈlɑːʤli ˌɪnɪˈfɛktɪv fɪks 
ˈɒfəd baɪ 
nɒt ədˈvaɪzəbl 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm ˈmɛʒəz
teɪk ə lɒŋ vjuː 
kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt 
ˈklɪəli 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈsɪtɪznri

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

C________n c__________d c___________s believe that p_____________________d to c__________r the h_______________t in various food and drink products. In my opinion, this solution may have a m_______________t but other r__________s would e__________r greater p___________s.

S_____________s of this p________y argue that it has been e__________e in the past. The best known c___________y would be the h____________e of t_______________s in many nations. Countries where prices are low, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, have c______________y higher r_______s of s_________s compared to nations that have i_______________________s. S___________y, t___________n has had l________________________s c____________g food products in European nations where sugary and fatty foods are more e___________e and there has been a c___________________________l decline in c______________n. However, the more s___________________n from a___________s to tax l____________s is that individuals are often willing to pay to s_____________________s and w_____________________________________s.

T__________e, s__________________s involve more h___________________________n. This can be i______________________h policies in Japan. From a young age, children are f___________________s at school a_____________s at home, and the government has e____________d health a____________s through a v__________y of p__________s and i____________s a________________t v________________________s. The result is that sugary drinks and products h__________________________y that is l__________________t than in nations such as the United States where the culture c_____________n fast food, soda, and p_________________s. A more t___________________h should not be d______________d simply because of the c__________________d by e___________g and e____________g small s_____s that are a_________d and e______________________y o_______________________s.

In conclusion, the i_______________e and l_______________________x o__________y raising prices is n_______________e compared with more l_______________________s. Governments must therefore t________________w and c_______________e this c___________y to the g___________________y.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/would-a-sugar-tax-on-sodas-and-snacks-help-reduce-obesity

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Sweets

  1. Do you like sweets?
  2. Did you like sweets when you were younger?
  3. What kind of sweet foods are popular in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and 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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