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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of traditional and fast food from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Traditional Foods and Fast Food

In many countries, traditional foods are being replaced by fast food. This has a negative impact on families, individuals and society.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The rise of fast food globally is often thought to have an injurious impact on families, individuals, and society at large. In my opinion, fast food is a negative overall despite some tangible benefits.

The advantages of fast food vary according to the segment of society in question. Individuals get enjoyment out of fast food, the clearest evidence of which is its popularity. Fast food is also relatively cheap and, as its name suggests, saves time. For families, the advantages are similar. In many working-class families, parents spend at a lot time and energy at their jobs and do not have the luxury of preparing a nutritious, time-consuming meal for their children. Fast food is therefore a necessary, viable alternative. Finally, society benefits in a general sense because of the employment opportunities. Fast food restaurants employ thousands of, admittedly, lowly paid workers and is a safe transitional job for students and struggling individuals.

Regardless, the negative impact of fast food is greater. Though people enjoy the taste and convenience of fast food, they are doing irreparable harm to both their short and long-term health. Research has shown that the high fat and sugar content in fast food not only affects daily energy levels but also contributes to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. These same health risks extend to families, with the added caveat that children are forming potentially life-long bad habits. Society also suffers from the growth of the fast food industry as local businesses lose revenue to these international conglomerates that enrich primarily the already wealthy or foreign nationals.

In conclusion, despite the benefits related to convenience and economics that fast food brings, the health drawbacks should serve as strong deterrents for countries looking to encourage these industries.

Analysis

1. The rise of fast food globally is often thought to have an injurious impact on families, individuals, and society at large. 2. In my opinion, fast food is a negative overall despite some tangible benefits.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion and include some hints at your main ideas. Read more about conclusions here.

1. The advantages of fast food vary according to the segment of society in question. 2. Individuals get enjoyment out of fast food, the clearest evidence of which is its popularity. 3. Fast food is also relatively cheap and, as its name suggests, saves time. 4. For families, the advantages are similar. 5. In many working-class families, parents spend at a lot time and energy at their jobs and do not have the luxury of preparing a nutritious, time-consuming meal for their children. 6. Fast food is therefore a necessary, viable alternative. 7. Finally, society benefits in a general sense because of the employment opportunities. 8. Fast food restaurants employ thousands of, admittedly, lowly paid workers and is a safe transitional job for students and struggling individuals.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Explain you main idea and focus on one category.
  3. Develop that category.
  4. Switch to families.
  5. Develop that idea.
  6. Finish developing it.
  7. Focus finally on society.
  8. Develop it fully. This paragraph is a little too long.

1. Regardless, the negative impact of fast food is greater. 2. Though people enjoy the taste and convenience of fast food, they are doing irreparable harm to both their short and long-term health. 3. Research has shown that the high fat and sugar content in fast food not only affects daily energy levels but also contributes to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. 4. These same health risks extend to families, with the added caveat that children are forming potentially life-long bad habits. 5. Society also suffers from the growth of the fast food industry as local businesses lose revenue to these international conglomerates that enrich primarily the already wealthy or foreign nationals.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain that main idea.
  3. Use research to support your ideas.
  4. Make sure that you cover all areas.
  5. This paragraph should have stronger reasons since it is the side you agree with.

1. In conclusion, despite the benefits related to convenience and economics that fast food brings, the health drawbacks should serve as strong deterrents for countries looking to encourage these industries.

  1. Repeat your opinion, summarise your main ideas and add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The rise of fast food globally is often thought to have an injurious impact on families, individuals, and society at large. In my opinion, fast food is a negative overall despite some tangible benefits.

The advantages of fast food vary according to the segment of society in question. Individuals get enjoyment out of fast food, the clearest evidence of which is its popularity. Fast food is also relatively cheap and, as its name suggests, saves time. For families, the advantages are similar. In many working-class families, parents spend at a lot time and energy at their jobs and do not have the luxury of preparing a nutritious, time-consuming meal for their children. Fast food is therefore a necessary, viable alternative. Finally, society benefits in a general sense because of the employment opportunities. Fast food restaurants employ thousands of, admittedly, lowly paid workers and is a safe transitional job for students and struggling individuals.

Regardless, the negative impact of fast food is greater. Though people enjoy the taste and convenience of fast food, they are doing irreparable harm to both their short and long-term health. Research has shown that the high fat and sugar content in fast food not only affects daily energy levels but also contributes to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. These same health risks extend to families, with the added caveat that children are forming potentially life-long bad habits. Society also suffers from the growth of the fast food industry as local businesses lose revenue to these international conglomerates that enrich primarily the already wealthy or foreign nationals.

In conclusion, despite the benefits related to convenience and economics that fast food brings, the health drawbacks should serve as strong deterrents for countries looking to encourage these industries.

Answers

rise increase

globally around the world

injurious impact negative effect

society at large all people

negative overall bad in general

tangible benefits concrete advantages

vary different

segment part

in question being discussed

clearest evidence of which best instance includes

relatively somewhat

as its name suggests can be figured out from the name

saves time doesn’t waste time

working-class families normal, working families

luxury privilege

preparing making

nutritious good for your health

time-consuming takes a lot of time

necessary needed

viable alternative good second option

in a general sense overall

employment opportunities job chances

admittedly it must be said

lowly paid workers don’t make a lot of money

safe transitional job not risky in-between work

struggling individuals people who need help

regardless nonetheless

irreparable harm can’t be fixed injury

short and long-term health in the near and far future

content what’s inside it

affects daily energy levels impacts how much energy you have

contributes to adds to

conditions such as diseases including

diabetes disease from eating too much sugar

health risks extend to health problems include

added caveat extra warning

forming potentially life-long bad habits possibly last forever habits

suffers hurt from

growth of the fast food industry more powerful fast food companies

local businesses lose revenue neighborhood shops lose money

international conglomerates big companies

enrich primarily mostly get money from

foreign nationals people from other countries

related to similar to

should serve as ought to be

deterrents dissuades people

encourage these industries support those companies

Pronunciation

raɪz 
ˈgləʊbəli 
ɪnˈʤʊərɪəs ˈɪmpækt 
səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈəʊvərɔːl 
ˈtænʤəbl ˈbɛnɪfɪts
ˈveəri 
ˈsɛgmənt 
ɪn ˈkwɛsʧən
ˈklɪərɪst ˈɛvɪdəns ɒv wɪʧ 
ˈrɛlətɪvli 
æz ɪts neɪm səˈʤɛsts
seɪvz taɪm
ˈwɜːkɪŋklɑːs ˈfæmɪliz
ˈlʌkʃəri 
prɪˈpeərɪŋ 
nju(ː)ˈtrɪʃəs
ˈtaɪmkənˈsjuːmɪŋ 
ˈnɛsɪsəri
ˈvaɪəbl ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪv
ɪn ə ˈʤɛnərəl sɛns 
ɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪtiz
ədˈmɪtɪdli
ˈləʊli peɪd ˈwɜːkəz
seɪf trænˈsɪʒənl ʤɒb 
ˈstrʌglɪŋ ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
ɪˈrɛpərəbl hɑːm 
ʃɔːt ænd ˈlɒŋtɜːm hɛlθ
ˈkɒntɛnt 
əˈfɛkts ˈdeɪli ˈɛnəʤi ˈlɛvlz 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)ts tuː 
kənˈdɪʃənz sʌʧ æz 
ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz
hɛlθ rɪsks ɪksˈtɛnd tuː 
ˈædɪd ˈkeɪvɪæt 
ˈfɔːmɪŋ pəʊˈtɛnʃəli laɪf-lɒŋ bæd ˈhæbɪts
ˈsʌfəz 
grəʊθ ɒv ðə fɑːst fuːd ˈɪndəstri 
ˈləʊkəl ˈbɪznɪsɪz luːz ˈrɛvɪnjuː 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈnæʃənl kənˈglɒmərɪts 
ɪnˈrɪʧ ˈpraɪmərɪli 
ˈfɒrɪn ˈnæʃənlz
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
ʃʊd sɜːv æz 
dɪˈtɛrənts 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ ðiːz ˈɪndəstriz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The r____e of fast food g________y is often thought to have an i_____________t on families, individuals, and s______________e. In my opinion, fast food is a n________________l despite some t_________________s.

The advantages of fast food v_____y according to the s__________t of society i_______________n. Individuals get enjoyment out of fast food, the c___________________h is its popularity. Fast food is also r___________y cheap and, a_____________________s, s_________e. For families, the advantages are similar. In many w____________________s, parents spend at a lot time and energy at their jobs and do not have the l________y of p___________g a n____________s, t_______________g meal for their children. Fast food is therefore a n___________y, v__________________e. Finally, society benefits i____________________e because of the e________________________s. Fast food restaurants employ thousands of, a_____________y, l__________________s and is a s____________________b for students and s________________________s.

R______________s, the negative impact of fast food is greater. Though people enjoy the taste and convenience of fast food, they are doing i____________________m to both their s_________________________h. Research has shown that the high fat and sugar c____________t in fast food not only a____________________s but also c__________________________s heart disease and d_____________s. These same h____________________o families, with the a______________________t that children are f_____________________________________s. Society also s________s from the g________________________________y as l________________________________e to these i____________________________s that e_____________________y the already wealthy or f_____________________s.

In conclusion, despite the benefits r______________o convenience and economics that fast food brings, the health drawbacks s__________________s strong d________________s for countries looking to e________________________s.

Listening Practice

Watch the video below to learn more:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic below in The New York Times:

Speaking Practice

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

Food

  1. Do people in your country often eat together?
  2. Why are family meals less common today?
  3. Is this a positive or negative development?
  4. Are there any holidays in your country centred around food?
  5. Are international foods a threat to the traditional culture of your country?

Writing Practice

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

In many countries, fast food is becoming cheaper and more widely available.

Do the disadvantages of this outweigh the advantages?


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