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Would higher prices for high-fat or unhealthy food reduce obesity?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
July 4, 2012
11:33 am
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
June 19, 2012
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More and more people are becoming overweight. Some people say that increasing the price of unhealthy or high-fat foods will solve this problem. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming seriously overweight.It's main cause of some chronic diseases. Some people say that the price increase of fattening foods will solve this problem. But i just deal with partly agree. This is a seriously problem so just affect to fattening foods 's price is not enough. I think we need a combination of different methods.

Obesity has become a major problem on the World. This is a difficult problem with many serious affects on the individual and country. I think the accelerating prices of fattening foods is also solve a part of this problem. The price increase will cut down on the number of consumers who not afford to buy expensive high fat food. Thus, fatty foodstuff will be not consumed or consume less and the proportion of overweight people will fall. For reality example, in last October, all food sold in Denmark containing more than 2.3% fat soluble were beaten for the Tax which first time presence in the world : fat tax. With this tax, consumers have to pay more 30% for butter, 8% for potato chips and a range of other foods such as milk, cheese, pizza and processed foods. There're also many countries has imposed tax on fat- rich food such Hungary with a tax to be known as 'hamburger law.' Still, the price increase only not attack the root of problem. We need more supplementary measures.

The overweight problem can affect our nation not only socially but also economically; therefore, our government can take responsibility to resolve the problem. Government has to restrict fast food stalls, limit junk foods advertising, especially not allowed on campus so children not be putted at risk of obesity. In addition, government needs conduct public education to raise awareness of the downsides of fatty foodstuff and weight gaining. On the other hand, It is also parent's responsibility. Parents should give children a nutritional and healthy food and encourage them to take regular exercise. Essentially, if we want to stay healthy, what we should do is to pay more attention to eating habit.

In conclusion, obesity or even being overweight has serious effects on individual and the society. Health is the most important that we cannot afford to lose so both government and individuals have the duty to cope with it. 

July 4, 2012
1:36 pm

Hello huynhtho for this essay. It's very useful for us here and I hope it helps many people!

First of all, it's 387 words long, which is far too long for IELTS. I recommend writing between 250 and 300 or maybe 320 words.  

Any more than 300 and you may be penalizing yourself due to rushed writing and increased errors. There is no penalty for writing more than 250, but you will be tired by the time it comes to Task 2 writing, and most candidates who write long essays score lower because of mistakes in grammar or layout.

You can check average sentence length, word count, and many other useful statistics by using one of the two readability links at the top of this page-  this one at read-able.com, or this one at online-utility.org.

Your average sentence length is 15.5, which is OK, but you should try to reduce it to below 15 words per sentence on average. Add more short sentences, and break up longer ones.


Instead of looking at individual sentences, I’ve done a quick rewrite of your essay. I've removed unnecessary sentences and padding. I've also removed huge chunks of unnecessary detail. But I've kept all your ideas and your organization.

Some people suggest that increasing the price of fattening foods will solve the problem of obesity. I agree in part, but obesity is such a big problem that increasing the price of some foods is only one of many steps we need to take.

Making high-fat foods more expensive may discourage some consumers from buying unhealthy food. Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce a tax on high fat food such as butter, potato chips and many processed foods. Hungary has adopted a similar policy with a tax on hamburgers.

However, increasing the price of some foods does not attack the root of the problem, and other approaches are needed. Governments can restrict the sale of fast foods and limit advertising, particularly on school campuses. Health education is a second strategy. People need to be aware of the dangers of an unhealthy diet. Parents also play an important role: they need to give their children nutritious food and encourage them to exercise.

In conclusion, if we want a healthier society, education, good eating habits and exercise are more important than higher prices on certain foods. Both governments and individuals have to act to solve this problem.

There are only 205 words in this rewrite. Now it’s too short! So where did your 387 words go? The problem is that the even though your second paragraph is an astonishing 178 words long, it doesn’t have many ideas. It has lots of information about Denmark’s new law, but not really many ideas for or against the idea of increasing the price of food.

Your third paragraph has three ideas (government restrictions, health education, parents) so that’s fine at 88 words. But we need much clearer topic sentences in paragraphs 2 and 3 so that it’s clear to readers and examiners what the topic of each paragraph is.

Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Coherence and Cohesion, and see:

  • Band 4: “may not write in paragraphs or their use may be confusing.”
  • Band 7: “presents a clear central topic within each paragraph.”

Adding a clear topic sentence will really help you to move towards Band 7.

There is too much detail here about the laws in Denmark.  Instead of detailing the percentage of fat (a type of writing tested in Task 1) you could have discussed some of these ideas

  • if increasing the price of potato chips or burgers by a small amount will really change behavior,
  • if people will really switch to healthier food
  • if the government would be better subsidizing healthy food
  • why everyone has to pay more for milk or butter just because a few people are fat
  • whether gym subscriptions for fat people would be more effective or higher health insurance premiums
  • whether reduced insurance premiums or income taxes for healthier people would be better
  • people should be free to buy what they want
  • if governments have any business in deciding the price of food
  • if unhealthy food might become a status symbol or symbol of freedom and defiance
  • what the money raised would be used for
  • if the food industry (not governments) should be more responsible


Overall, 387 words is much too long. You spent too long on details. Write short clear topic sentences and make sure each paragraph has a clear central topic. Have three ideas in each body paragraph. You will soon be on your way to Band 7!

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