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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of parents and governments and childhood obesity from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Parents and Governments and Childhood Obesity

In many countries, children are becoming overweight and unhealthy. Some people think that the government has the responsibility to solve this problem.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some feel that the current global obesity epidemic should be primarily handled by governments. In my opinion, though the state has a key role to play, this is mainly the duty of parents.

Those who argue in favor of this contention point to the power of governmental regulation. Governments hold this responsibility not just because their job is to safeguard public welfare but also because they are endowed with the authority to enact real reforms. In some countries, there are strict laws about the products that can be advertised during children’s programming and their maximum sugar and fat content. Countries that do not have strong regulatory bodies to create and enforce these laws naturally have considerably higher rates of obesity. In an ideal world, governments would be more responsible for public health in this crucial area.

However, since governments often fail to protect the public interest, parents should take responsibility themselves. Parents can best achieve this by leading by example. If children are not given sugary soft drinks, candy, and eat a diet constituted of mainly vegetables and fruits, they are likely to develop lifelong, positive eating habits. For instance, in nations such as France where food and nutrition are taken very seriously, the majority of children do not grow up addicted to unhealthy American fast food and obesity rates are lower. Admittedly, this can be difficult for parents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who may struggle with finding the time, energy, and finances to provide nutritious meals for their children.

In conclusion, government can regulate certain industries but parents must themselves instill healthy habits in their children for there to be a meaningful impact. This issue may have reached a high point and must now be addressed.

Analysis

1. Some feel that the current global obesity epidemic should be primarily handled by governments. 2. In my opinion, though the state has a key role to play, this is mainly the duty of parents.

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

1. Those who argue in favor of this contention point to the power of governmental regulation. 2. Governments hold this responsibility not just because their job is to safeguard public welfare but also because they are endowed with the authority to enact real reforms. 3. In some countries, there are strict laws about the products that can be advertised during children’s programming and their maximum sugar and fat content. 4. Countries that do not have strong regulatory bodies to create and enforce these laws naturally have considerably higher rates of obesity. 5. In an ideal world, governments would be more responsible for public health in this crucial area.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Vary long and short sentences.

1. However, since governments often fail to protect the public interest, parents should take responsibility themselves. 2. Parents can best achieve this by leading by example. 3. If children are not given sugary soft drinks, candy, and eat a diet constituted of mainly vegetables and fruits, they are likely to develop lifelong, positive eating habits. 4. For instance, in nations such as France where food and nutrition are taken very seriously, the majority of children do not grow up addicted to unhealthy American fast food and obesity rates are lower. 5. Admittedly, this can be difficult for parents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who may struggle with finding the time, energy, and finances to provide nutritious meals for their children.

  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. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.

1. In conclusion, government can regulate certain industries but parents must themselves instill healthy habits in their children for there to be a meaningful impact. 2. This issue may have reached a high point and must now be addressed.

  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.

Some feel that the current global obesity epidemic should be primarily handled by governments. In my opinion, though the state has a key role to play, this is mainly the duty of parents.

Those who argue in favor of this contention point to the power of governmental regulation. Governments hold this responsibility not just because their job is to safeguard public welfare but also because they are endowed with the authority to enact real reforms. In some countries, there are strict laws about the products that can be advertised during children’s programming and their maximum sugar and fat content. Countries that do not have strong regulatory bodies to create and enforce these laws naturally have considerably higher rates of obesity. In an ideal world, governments would be more responsible for public health in this crucial area.

However, since governments often fail to protect the public interest, parents should take responsibility themselves. Parents can best achieve this by leading by example. If children are not given sugary soft drinks, candy, and eat a diet constituted of mainly vegetables and fruits, they are likely to develop lifelong, positive eating habits. For instance, in nations such as France where food and nutrition are taken very seriously, the majority of children do not grow up addicted to unhealthy American fast food and obesity rates are lower. Admittedly, this can be difficult for parents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who may struggle with finding the time, energy, and finances to provide nutritious meals for their children.

In conclusion, government can regulate certain industries but parents must themselves instill healthy habits in their children for there to be a meaningful impact. This issue may have reached a high point and must now be addressed.

Answers

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

current global obesity epidemic lots of unhealthy, fat kids today

primarily handled by mostly deal with by

the state the government

key role to play important part in

mainly mostly

duty responsibility

those who argue in favor of people who support

contention opinion

point to argue

governmental regulation the state controlling, making laws

responsibility duty

safeguard public welfare take care of all citizens

endowed with given the power to

authority power to

enact real reforms make new laws

strict laws harsh rules

products food items

advertised commercials, etc.

children’s programming kid’s TV shows

maximum sugar most sweetness

fat content how much fat in something

regulatory bodies government institutions

enforce make sure of

laws naturally rules of course

considerably higher rates of obesity much higher levels of fat people

In an ideal world in a perfect world

public health how healthy people are

crucial area important part

fail not achieve

protect keep safe

public interest for the good of all people

take responsibility fulfill a duty

best achieve better accomplish

leading by example doing things so other people copy you

sugary soft drinks sweet colas and drinks

diet constituted of mainly food that you eat is mostly

lifelong your whole life

positive eating habits good diet

nations countries

nutrition how healthy food is

taken very seriously care a lot about

majority most of

addicted can’t stop eating

unhealthy American fast food McDonald’s, etc.

obesity rates how overweight people are

Admittedly it must be admitted

lower socioeconomic backgrounds poorer people

struggle with have a tough time with

finances money

provide nutritious meals give healthy foods

regulate certain industries control some fields

instill healthy habits make kid’s have consistent behaviors

meaningful impact big effect

reached a high point got to the highest level of

addressed dealt with

Pronunciation

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

ˈkʌrənt ˈgləʊbəl əʊˈbiːsɪti ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk 
ˈpraɪmərɪli ˈhændld baɪ 
ðə steɪt 
kiː rəʊl tuː pleɪ
ˈmeɪnli 
ˈdjuːti 
ðəʊz huː ˈɑːgjuː ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
kənˈtɛnʃən 
pɔɪnt tuː 
ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən
rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
ˈseɪfgɑːd ˈpʌblɪk ˈwɛlfeə 
ɪnˈdaʊd wɪð 
ɔːˈθɒrɪti 
ɪˈnækt rɪəl ˌriːˈfɔːmz
strɪkt lɔːz 
ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˈædvətaɪzd 
ˈʧɪldrənz ˈprəʊgræmɪŋ 
ˈmæksɪməm ˈʃʊgə 
fæt ˈkɒntɛnt
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt(ə)ri ˈbɒdiz 
ɪnˈfɔːs 
lɔːz ˈnæʧrəli 
kənˈsɪdərəbli ˈhaɪə reɪts ɒv əʊˈbiːsɪti
ɪn ən aɪˈdɪəl wɜːld
ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ 
ˈkruːʃəl ˈeərɪə
feɪl 
prəˈtɛkt 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈɪntrɪst
teɪk rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
bɛst əˈʧiːv 
ˈliːdɪŋ baɪ ɪgˈzɑːmpl
ˈʃʊgəri sɒft drɪŋks
ˈdaɪət ˈkɒnstɪtjuːtɪd ɒv ˈmeɪnli 
ˈlaɪflɒŋ
ˈpɒzətɪv ˈiːtɪŋ ˈhæbɪts
ˈneɪʃənz 
nju(ː)ˈtrɪʃən 
ˈteɪkən ˈvɛri ˈsɪərɪəsli
məˈʤɒrɪti 
əˈdɪktɪd 
ʌnˈhɛlθi əˈmɛrɪkən fɑːst fuːd 
əʊˈbiːsɪti reɪts 
ədˈmɪtɪdli
ˈləʊə ˌsəʊsɪəʊˌɛkəˈnɒmɪk ˈbækgraʊndz 
ˈstrʌgl wɪð 
faɪˈnænsɪz 
prəˈvaɪd nju(ː)ˈtrɪʃəs miːlz 
ˈrɛgjʊleɪt ˈsɜːtn ˈɪndəstriz 
ɪnˈstɪl ˈhɛlθi ˈhæbɪts 
ˈmiːnɪŋfʊl ˈɪmpækt
riːʧt ə haɪ pɔɪnt 
əˈdrɛst

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:

Some feel that the c____________________________c should be p____________________y governments. In my opinion, though t__________e has a k______________y, this is m_________y the d____y of parents.

T__________________________f this c____________n p_______o the power of g______________________n. Governments hold this r______________y not just because their job is to s_____________________e but also because they are e_______________h the a___________y to e______________s. In some countries, there are s_____________s about the p_________s that can be a_____________d during c_______________________g and their m__________________r and f_____________t. Countries that do not have strong r__________________s to create and e_______e these l_______________y have c____________________________________y. I_________________d, governments would be more responsible for p_____________h in this c____________a.

However, since governments often f____l to p_________t the p_____________t, parents should t___________________y themselves. Parents can b___________e this by l___________________e. If children are not given s_______________s, candy, and eat a d_________________________y vegetables and fruits, they are likely to develop l_________g, p________________s. For instance, in n______s such as France where food and n_________n are t__________________y, the m______y of children do not grow up a__________d to u___________________________d and o___________s are lower. A___________y, this can be difficult for parents from l________________________________s who may s_____________h finding the time, energy, and f________s to p______________________s for their children.

In conclusion, government can r______________________s but parents must themselves i____________________s in their children for there to be a m_______________t. This issue may have r______________________t and must now be a___________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.healthline.com/health/weight-loss/weight-problems-in-children

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following topics below from IELTS speaking:

Favorite Foods

  1. What are your favorite foods?
  2. What were your favorite foods as a child?
  3. What foods are becoming more popular in your country now?
  4. What foods do you not like?

Writing Practice

Childhood obesity has become a serious problem in recent years.

What are the primary causes of this?

What measures should be taken to reduce childhood obesity?


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