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French researchers think “ultra-processed” foods may be a cause of cancer. Examples of these kinds of foods can be chicken nuggets, soda, instant ramen, cake, and more. Experts are warning caution against this study’s legitimacy, but do suggest a healthy diet.

It is already a fact that diet can cause cancer. Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. People are now questioning where ultra-processed foods rank on that list.

A team at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite surveyed people on their diets over a period of two days. Then, a group primarily made up of middle-aged women were studied for about five years. The British Medical Journal published the study’s findings and explained that if the amount of processed food people ate increased by 10%, the cancers detected increased by 12%. This caused the researchers to become concerned that the amount of cancer diagnoses could increase in future decades. However, they also said their findings cannot be confirmed until more research and a larger study is conducted.

This study by no means signifies that ultra-processed foods cause cancer. People who eat ultra-processed foods are more likely to smoke, not exercise and eat fattier foods which could have affected the results of the study. The prevention expert at Cancer Research UK said that overall, this is a “warning signal to have a healthy diet” and that people should not fret about eating processed foods “here and there”. The most important thing is that the majority of your diet is healthy.

If nothing else, this study has created a conversation and is an important reminder that diet is vital and should be carefully looked after.

 

Difficult words

Ultra-Processed: Very manufactured, not natural.

Legitimacy: Ability to be defended with logic or reason. Validity.

Obesity: Extremely overweight.

Survey: Asking questions to a large group in order to get a result.

Primarily: Mainly.

Diagnosis: Identification of an illness or other health problem.

Conduct: To manage or run something.

Signify: Be evidence of.

Prevention: The action of stopping something from ever happening.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. Ultra-Processed A. Mostly
2. Legitimacy B. Very overweight
3. Obesity C. Identification
4. Survey D. Signal
5. Primarily E. Validity
6. Diagnosis F. Poll
7. Conduct G. Stop
8. Signify H. Direction
9. Prevention I. Manufactured

True or False?

1. French researchers think non-processed foods may be a cause of cancer. T / F

2.  Experts have warned caution against this study. T / F

3. Nobody knows if diet can cause cancer. T / F

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

5.  The group that was studied was primarily made up of middle-aged men. T / F

6. The researchers are concerned for the welfare of people in the future. T / F

7. The researchers said their findings can be taken as facts, ultra-processed foods do cause cancer. T / F

8. People who eat ultra-processed foods are more likely to not exercise. T / F

9. An expert in the UK said you should worry if you eat processed foods, even in small amounts. T / F

10. This study is a reminder that a healthy diet is very important. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. researchers / think / foods / of / French / cancer / may / “ultra-processed” / a / cause / be

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

3. British / study’s / The / published / Medical / the / findings / Journal

4. smoke / People / likely / who / are / ultra-processed / eat / foods / to / more

5. thing / of / most / majority / your / The / is / the / healthy / diet / is / that / important

Listening and Vocabulary

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

British English: 

American English: 

Caution Findings Important
Studied Smoke Researchers
Conversation Published Diet

French _____________ think “ultra-processed” foods may be a cause of cancer. Examples of these kinds of foods can be chicken nuggets, soda, instant ramen, cake, and more. Experts are warning _________ against this study’s legitimacy, but do suggest a healthy diet.

It is already a fact that _________ can cause cancer. Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking. People are now questioning where ultra-processed foods rank on that list.

A team at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite surveyed people on their diets over a period of two days. Then, a group primarily made up of middle-aged women were __________ for about five years. The British Medical Journal _________ the study’s findings and explained that if the amount of processed food people ate increased by 10%, the cancers detected increased by 12%. This caused the researchers to become concerned that the amount of cancer diagnoses could increase in future decades. However, they also said their __________ cannot be confirmed until more research and a larger study is conducted.

This study by no means signifies that ultra-processed foods cause cancer. People who eat ultra-processed foods are more likely to ________, not exercise and eat fattier foods which could have affected the results of the study. The prevention expert at Cancer Research UK said that overall, this is a “warning signal to have a healthy diet” and that people should not fret about eating processed foods “here and there”. The most ___________ thing is that the majority of your diet is healthy.

If nothing else, this study has created a ______________ and is an important reminder that diet is vital and should be carefully looked after.

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 kind 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?