“Ultraprocessed” foods seem to trigger neural signals that make us want more and more calories, unlike other foods in the Western diet.









  • obesity (obese – adj) – the state of being extremely fat or overweight
  • to trigger – to make something happen very quickly, especially a series of events
  • gut – the stomach or belly
  • to cling to – to continue to believe or do something, even though it may not be true or useful any longer
  • culprit – a person who is responsible for a crime
  • to contradict – to say that what sb has just said is wrong, or suggest that it is wrong by saying something different
  • to chow down – to eat, especially in an informal situation
  • girth – the distance around the outside of a thick or fat object, like a tree or a body
  • lean – containing little or no fat
  • satiety – a state of fullness (so that you could not eat any more)
  • additive – a substance that is added to food to improve its taste or appearance or to keep it fresh
  •  craving – an intense, urgent desire or longing



Discuss in pairs, small groups, or with your teacher:

  • Why is obesity bad for your health?
  • How much of a problem is obesity in your country?
  • Do you think obese people should pay higher medical charges?
  • Why is obesity increasing?
  • Should schools ban junk food to fight obesity?
  • Do you think children should be taken into care if their parents let them become obese?
  • Should there be a “fat tax” on food that is very high in calories?
  • Do you see any relationship between obesity and video games?

Practice Makes Perfect

Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with the words in bold.

cravings                               satiety                 lean                      culprit

additives                            trigger                  girth                      gut

  1. New U.S. research suggests that the primary ………. behind the obesity epidemic may be the modern-day environment, and not genes.
  2. I’m on a diet and I can eat only ……… meat.
  3. This margarine is full of ………. – just look at the label!
  4. How can you stop sugar ……….. once and for all?
  5. Scientists think that “ultraprocessed” food disrupts …….-brain signals that normally tell us that we have had enough. This failed signaling leads to overeating.
  6. Her fingers were barely able to meet round his ……. .
  7. It’s not the type of food, but the volume of it that affects ………… .
  8. Some people find that certain foods ……….. their headaches.


ANSWERS: 1. culprit 2. lean 3. additives 4. cravings 5. gut 6. girth 7. satiety 8. trigger



Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

Teach every child about food.

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, West Virginia — and a shocking image of the sugar we eat — TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.