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French researchers think they found a connection between “ultra-processed” foods and cancer. Foods that they consider to be ultra-processed include chicken nuggets, cake, ramen, chocolate, and more. Experts are cautioning people not to be scared by this study. Many people are skeptical.

It is already a fact that a person’s diet can cause cancer. Obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Now, people are questioning ultra-processed foods.

A team at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite studied a group of people for about five years. Their results were published in the British Medical Journal. They showed that if the people ate 10% more ultra-processed foods, 12% more cancers were detected. The researchers said the results could mean that many more people get cancer in future decades, if ultra-processed food consumption rises. They also said larger studies should be done to confirm the results.

This study should not be taken as fact. People who eat a lot of ultra-processed foods are more likely to smoke, not exercise, and eat fattier foods. These things could change the results. Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert said this study was just a warning signal but not fact. She also said people should have a healthy diet but not worry if they eat a little processed food “here and there”.

 

Difficult words

Ultra-processed: Very manufactured, not natural.

Cautioning: A warning to avoid danger.

Skeptical: To be doubtful or unable to believe something.

Obesity: Extremely overweight.

Preventable: Able to avoid or stop something.

Publish: To make a creative work public.

Detect: To discover or identify.

Confirm: To find the truth.

Signal: An action or sound that has another meaning.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Cautioning  A. Very fat.
 2. Skeptical  B. Warning
 3. Obesity  C. Discover
 4. Preventable  D. Doubtful
 5. Detect  E. Avoidable

True or False?

1.  German researchers think they found a connection between ultra-processed foods and cancer.  T / F

2.  Experts say you should not be frightened by this study. T / F

3.  Nobody is skeptical that this study proves facts.  T / F

4. Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer. T / F

5.  The researchers said smaller studies should be done to confirm their results. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. people / cautioning / by / not / Experts / scared / this / study / be  / to / are

2. is / fact / can / It / cause / cancer / already / person’s / a / that / a / diet

3. people / are / Many / skeptical

4. studies / larger / the / be / said / They / confirm / should / also / to / done / results

5. be / study / as / This / should / not / taken / fact

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

 Results  Warning Connection
Preventable  Cautioning Obesity

French researchers think they found a _______________ between “ultra-processed” foods and cancer. Foods that they consider to be ultra-processed include chicken nuggets, cake, ramen, chocolate, and more. Experts are ______________ people to not to be scared by this study. Many people are skeptical.

It is already a fact that a person’s diet can cause cancer. ______________ is the second biggest _______________ cause of cancer after smoking. Now, people are questioning ultra-processed foods.

A team at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite studied a group of people for about five years. Their results were published in the British Medical Journal. They showed that if the people ate 10% more ultra-processed foods, 12% more cancers were detected. The researchers said the ____________ could mean that many more people get cancer in future decades, if ultra-processed food consumption rises. They also said larger studies should be done to confirm the results.

This study should not be taken as fact. People who eat a lot of ultra-processed foods are more likely to smoke, not exercise, and eat fattier foods. These things could change the results. Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert said this study was just a ___________ signal but not fact. She also said people should have a healthy diet but not worry if they eat a little processed food “here and there”.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you know about processed foods?
4. How often do you eat processed foods?
5. What are your favourite foods that you know are unhealthy?
6. Do you think people should be scared of processed foods?
7. How often do you cook?
8. What kinds of things can you cook?
9. Do you eat out or at home more?
10. How easy is it to get food delivered in your country?
11. What are popular delivery or fast foods in your country?
12. Do you worry about your diet?
13. What do you do to stay healthy?
14. Is it easy to stay healthy in your country?
15. Are gyms popular where you live?
16. Are gym memberships expensive in your country?
17. Have you ever had a gym membership?
18. Do you ever worry about cancer?
19. Do you think scientists will find a cure to cancer one day?
20. Do you think people worry too much about what causes cancer?