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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer essay from the real exam/test on the topic of sugary drinks.

It is a two part question that asks you to write about the causes of the problem in one paragraph and the solution in the other (read more about this structure here).

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Good luck with your IELTS test and comment any questions that you have below!

-Dave

Before you read the sample answer, you can listen to my audio to practice your listening – take some notes of the keywords when you listen:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Sugary Drinks (Real IELTS Test/Exam)

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

What are the reasons for this?

What are the solutions?

Real Past IELTS Exams/Tests

Health experts have warned against a rise in addictions to sugary drinks and the concomitant risks. In my opinion, this is due to both advertising and encroachment in developing markets and the solution is to enact various restrictions.

Over-consumption of sugary drinks can be directly attributed to advertising and opening up vulnerable new markets. In much of the developed world, people are becoming more health conscious and while consumption may increase as a total number, it is more likely to decline as a proportion. This is not the case in the developing world in countries such as Vietnam. A burgeoning middle-class in the last two decades coupled with unregulated ad campaigns from Pepsi and Coca Cola have led to a pandemic of sugary drinks in the market. Consumers now have more disposable income and are generally less educated about the long-term effects of sugar while companies are eager to exploit these facts to fatten their bottom line.

The only proven solutions for any public health crisis are regulation. One of the most famously successful laws in this area was the ban on large sugary drinks in New York City. It prohibited only the largest sizes but had a large impact before it was ultimately repealed due to corporate lobbying. In its place, many states including New York and California enacted taxes that have driven up the cost of sugar-heavy drinks. The result is that fewer people are willing to take on the associated health risks given the higher prices. If federal governments tax these drinks similarly to cigarettes, then their popularity will decline even faster.

In conclusion, the ubiquity of sugary drinks is down to exploitation of developing nations and can be curbed through thoughtful regulation. Governments that take firm, unpopular steps towards these reforms will later save money in medical care.

Analysis

1. Health experts have warned against a rise in addictions to sugary drinks and the concomitant risks. 2. In my opinion, this is due to both advertising and encroachment in developing markets and the solution is to enact various restrictions.

  1. For your first sentence, paraphrase the overall topic of the essay.
  2. Answer the two questions clearly and you’ll get a good mark for task achievement.

1. Over-consumption of sugary drinks can be directly attributed to advertising and opening up vulnerable new markets. 2. In much of the developed world, people are becoming more health conscious and while consumption may increase as a total number, it is more likely to decline as a proportion. 3. This is not the case in the developing world in countries such as Vietnam. 4. A burgeoning middle-class in the last two decades coupled with unregulated ad campaigns from Pepsi and Coca Cola have led to a pandemic of sugary drinks in the market. 5. Consumers now have more disposable income and are generally less educated about the long-term effects of sugar while companies are eager to exploit these facts to fatten their bottom line.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear, single main idea. This question asks for reasons so I give two related reasons so that I can develop them together and get full marks for task achievement.
  2. Begin to develop your main ideas with specific details/examples.
  3. The more specfiic the better – try to use a real country.
  4. Continue with that example.
  5. Draw out the result of your example and conclude the paragraph.

1. The only proven solutions for any public health crisis are regulation. 2. One of the most famously successful laws in this area was the ban on large sugary drinks in New York City. 3. It prohibited only the largest sizes but had a large impact before it was ultimately repealed due to corporate lobbying. 4. In its place, many states including New York and California enacted taxes that have driven up the cost of sugar-heavy drinks. 5. The result is that fewer people are willing to take on the associated health risks given the higher prices. 6. If federal governments tax these drinks similarly to cigarettes, then their popularity will decline even faster.

  1. Write another topic sentence. Again I give two solutions but they are related so that I can develop them fully.
  2. Use a specific example of a city/country/law (make it up if you have to).
  3. Describe the example in detail and use strong vocabulary.
  4. Continue developing the same example.
  5. State the result to make your example even stronger.
  6. Here I compare it to taxes on cigarettes (this would have also been a good way to start the paragraph).

1. In conclusion, the ubiquity of sugary drinks is down to exploitation of developing nations and can be curbed through thoughtful regulation. 2. Governments that take firm, unpopular steps towards these reforms will later save money in medical care.

  1. Repeat your answer to the questions.
  2. Add in an extra detail/final thought.

Vocabulary

Try to figure out the words in bold below:

Health experts have warned against a rise in addictions to sugary drinks and the concomitant risks. In my opinion, this is due to both advertising and encroachment in developing markets and the solution is to enact various restrictions.

Over-consumption of sugary drinks can be directly attributed to advertising and opening up vulnerable new markets. In much of the developed world, people are becoming more health conscious and while consumption may increase as a total number, it is more likely to decline as a proportion. This is not the case in the developing world in countries such as Vietnam. A burgeoning middle-class in the last two decades coupled with unregulated ad campaigns from Pepsi and Coca Cola have led to a pandemic of sugary drinks in the market. Consumers now have more disposable income and are generally less educated about the long-term effects of sugar while companies are eager to exploit these facts to fatten their bottom line.

The only proven solutions for any public health crisis are regulation. One of the most famously successful laws in this area was the ban on large sugary drinks in New York City. It prohibited only the largest sizes but had a large impact before it was ultimately repealed due to corporate lobbying. In its place, many states including New York and California enacted taxes that have driven up the cost of sugar-heavy drinks. The result is that fewer people are willing to take on the associated health risks given the higher prices. If federal governments tax these drinks similarly to cigarettes, then their popularity will decline even faster.

In conclusion, the ubiquity of sugary drinks is down to exploitation of developing nations and can be curbed through thoughtful regulation. Governments that take firm, unpopular steps towards these reforms will later save money in medical care.

Answers

health experts nutritionists

addictions hooked on

concomitant related/resultant

encroachment moving in on

developing markets opening up business in new countries

enact various restrictions pass regulatory laws

over-consumption have too much

directly attributed to clearly the result of

opening up starting in

vulnerable weak

health conscious care about your health

total number complete amount

proportion percentage

this is not the case this is not the situation

burgeoning growing/starting

coupled with combined with

unregulated ad campaigns no restrictions on advertisements

pandemic spreading across a large area

disposable income money to burn

generally overall

eager excited for

exploit take advantage of

fatten their bottom line make more money

public health crisis health problems for lots of people

regulation law/restriction

ban prohibit

prohibited ban

ultimately repealed in the end reversed

corporate lobbying companies influencing government

in its place instead

driven up increase

associated health risks given related health problems considering

federal governments the national government

ubiquity all over/common

curbed slowed down

thoughtful conscientious

firm steady, strong

unpopular steps politically unpopular

reforms changes

medical care hospitals, medicare, etc.

Pronunciation

hɛlθ ˈɛkspɜːts 
əˈdɪkʃ(ə)nz 
kənˈkɒmɪtənt 
ɪnˈkrəʊʧmənt 
dɪˈvɛləpɪŋ ˈmɑːkɪts 
ɪˈnækt ˈveərɪəs rɪsˈtrɪkʃənz
ˈəʊvə-kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən 
dɪˈrɛktli əˈtrɪbjuːtɪd tuː 
ˈəʊpnɪŋ ʌp 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
hɛlθ ˈkɒnʃəs 
ˈtəʊtl ˈnʌmbə
prəˈpɔːʃən
ðɪs ɪz nɒt ðə keɪs 
ˈbɜːʤənɪŋ 
ˈkʌpld wɪð 
ʌnˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd æd kæmˈpeɪnz 
pænˈdɛmɪk 
dɪsˈpəʊzəbl ˈɪnkʌm
ˈʤɛnərəli 
ˈiːgə 
ˈɛksplɔɪt 
ˈfætn ðeə ˈbɒtəm laɪn
ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ ˈkraɪsɪs 
ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən
bæn 
prəˈhɪbɪtɪd 
ˈʌltɪmɪtli rɪˈpiːld 
ˈkɔːpərɪt ˈlɒbiɪŋ
ɪn ɪts pleɪs
ˈdrɪvn ʌp 
əˈsəʊʃɪeɪtɪd hɛlθ rɪsks ˈgɪvn 
ˈfɛdərəl ˈgʌvnmənts 
ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪti
kɜːbd 
θɔːtfʊl 
fɜːm
ʌnˈpɒpjʊlə stɛps 
ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ˈmɛdɪkəl keə

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

_____________ have warned against a rise in _____________ to sugary drinks and the _____________ risks. In my opinion, this is due to both advertising and _____________ in _____________ and the solution is to _____________.

_____________ of sugary drinks can be _____________ advertising and _____________ new markets. In much of the developed world, people are becoming more _____________ and while consumption may increase as a _____________, it is more likely to decline as a _____________. _____________ in the developing world in countries such as Vietnam. A _____________ middle-class in the last two decades _____________ _____________ from Pepsi and Coca Cola have led to a _____________ of sugary drinks in the market. Consumers now have more _____________ and are _____________ less educated about the long-term effects of sugar while companies are _____________ to _____________ these facts to _____________.

The only proven solutions for any _____________ is _____________. One of the most famously successful laws in this area was the _____________ on large sugary drinks in New York City. It _____________ only the largest sizes but had a large impact before it was _____________ due to _____________. _____________, many states including New York and California _____________ that have _____________ the cost of sugar-heavy drinks. The result is that fewer people are willing to take on the _____________ the higher prices. If _____________ tax these drinks similarly to cigarettes, then their popularity will decline even faster.

In conclusion, the _____________ of sugary drinks is down to exploitation of developing nations and can be _____________ through _____________ regulation. Governments that take _____________, _____________ towards these _____________ will later save money in _____________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Review the topic with a video from one of my favourite channels, ASAP Science:

Reading Practice

Read a bit about the health risks of soda here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/well/eat/studies-linked-to-soda-industry-mask-health-risks.html

Comment any questions/thoughts that you have below!


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