Advanced Topic Lesson11-20

Advanced Topic Conversation material Lesson11-20

Read the article and have a discussion based on the following questions.


Other People’s Faces May Affect the Food We Hate

Whether we like it or not, many of us will have found ourselves influenced by others when it comes to our likes and dislikes.

It often happens when we’re young — such as when the band your friend likes becomes your favorite too.

And according to a new study, it still affects us as adults, and even influences the way we feel about food.

Researchers from the UK wanted to find out how people’s facial expressions while eating vegetables affected the feelings of any people watching them.

So they got 205 young adult women to watch a video of other adults eating raw broccoli.

The people in the video reacted with either a positive, negative or neutral facial expression as they ate.

You can probably imagine what a negative facial expression would look like if you’ve seen children’s disgusted faces when given any food they don’t like!

And when the adults saw the negative expressions, they said it made them like broccoli less.

However, they also said it didn’t make them any less likely to want to eat it.

Interestingly, it didn’t work the other way around. When the participants saw people reacting with a positive facial expression, it didn’t make them like broccoli more or make them want to eat it.

That may be bad news for parents who like to try to encourage their children to eat vegetables by demonstrating their own enjoyment!

However, the study would suggest that parents still shouldn’t be showing disgust if they want their children to eat their broccoli!

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. What are your thoughts on the study’s findings?

3. What foods did you think were disgusting as a kid?

4. Would you describe yourself as a picky eater?

5. Who are the pickiest eaters you know?

6. Are you good at keeping a neutral expression when you dislike something?

7. What are your favorite vegetables? How often do you have them?

8. Do you know anyone who hates vegetables?

9. How adventurous are you when it comes to trying new food?

10. Are there any foods you used to dislike but enjoy now?

11. How has your diet changed over the years?


Intermittent Fasting: The Secret to Better Health?

Elon Musk has done it. So has Jennifer Aniston. And British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does it every week.

It’s the diet trend that has become popular around the world: intermittent fasting.

Johns Hopkins Medicine describes it as “an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule.”

Some of these schedules include the “5:2 diet,” which involves eating normally for five days a week and eating very little for two days. There’s also the “16:8” schedule, which means fasting for 16 hours a day and eating all of your food during the other eight hours.

Studies have found that intermittent fasting — particularly every-other-day fasting — can be about as effective as any other low-calorie diet for weight loss.

When we haven’t eaten for a number of hours, our bodies burn through all the calories stored in our muscles and liver, and begin burning fat instead.

And, as the Mayo Clinic notes, weight loss through intermittent fasting is probably about as effective as any other diet at reducing the risks of getting obesity-related diseases like diabetes and certain types of cancer.

But fans of intermittent fasting say the benefits go beyond weight loss.

A 2014 review in The New England Journal of Medicine noted that some studies had found that fasting may activate cell pathways that raise the body’s defenses against stress and reduce inflammation, which could offer extra benefits against things like arthritis.

However, a more recent review from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health noted that it’s still not clear what the diet’s long-term effects are, or even what type of fasting schedule is best for health benefits.

Some people also suffer from tiredness and headaches during their fasts. And experts say it’s not something that should be tried by children, or by people who are pregnant, who have a history of eating disorders, or suffer from conditions like diabetes.

One thing that everyone agrees on is this: if you’re thinking about doing intermittent fasting, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. What are your thoughts on the potential benefits of intermittent fasting?

3. Have you tried intermittent fasting? If so, what method did you use?

4. Is intermittent fasting a popular diet trend in your country?

5. Are there any other diet trends that have become popular in your country in recent years?

6. In your opinion, what are the most effective ways to lose weight?

7. Have you made any changes to your diet recently?

8.Where do you get most of your advice about health and diet?

9. Who are the most health-conscious people you know?

10. What advice would you give to someone who’s trying to be healthier?

11. It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. — Jillian Michaels. What are your thoughts on this statement?


Forever Young: Can This Millionaire Reverse Aging?

Bryan Johnson is a rich, successful businessman who is trying to find a way to reverse the aging process. He is spending around $2 million a year trying to do this, and he believes human beings don’t need to die.

Every day Johnson gets up at 4.30 a.m. and goes to bed at 8.30 p.m.

He eats three vegan meals a day, which are mostly made up of vegetables, berries and nuts — and finishes all of his meals by 11 a.m.

He takes over 100 supplements, exercises for one hour every day, and does extra high-intensity exercises three times a week.

He never goes out in the evening, never drinks alcohol, and never eats pizza or cookies.

Is it working?

Well, he has a team of doctors and health experts who measure his health and the condition of his organs. And they say he has reduced his biological age by at least 5 years.

Johnson wasn’t always so focused on his health.

In his 30s, he created a payment-processing company called Braintree, and after five years of working hard to make it a success, he sold his company to PayPal for $800 million.

By then, he was a very rich man, but he says he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t getting enough sleep. All that hard work left him stressed, depressed and overweight.

He decided to create a system of behaviors — which he calls “Blueprint” — that he believes he can depend on to live his healthiest life.

Johnson’s system has received some criticism. Some experts say that mixing so many different supplements might actually be bad for him and that his goals are unrealistic.

Other people say life probably isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy things like pizza and cookies.

But speaking to Time, Johnson said, “I don’t really care what people in our time and place think of me. I really care about what the 25th century thinks.”

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. What are your thoughts on Bryan Johnson’s lifestyle? Do you think you’d be able to live like him?

3. Do you think it’s possible to reverse the aging process?

4. Do you agree with Johnson that human beings don’t need to die?

5. Do you agree that life isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy unhealthy things?

6. What do you think the average lifespan will be in the 25th century?

7. Do you know anyone who takes their health very seriously?

8. Have you made any major changes to your lifestyle recently?

9. Do you know anyone who seems much younger than they really are?

10. Where do you get most of your advice about healthy living?

11. You need to be greedy or ignorant to truly want to live forever. ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana. What are your thoughts on this quote?


Discovering Finland: The World’s Happiest Country

How much do you know about Finland? For six years in a row this country in northern Europe has been ranked the happiest in the world. Let’s find out more about it!

Finland is quite a young country. It was part of Sweden from the 12th century until 1809, when it became part of the Russian Empire — and it only became an independent country in 1917.

Finland has two national languages: Finnish and Swedish, but almost 90% of the population speak Finnish as their first language. And the language has some unusual words.

Vahingonilo (“VA-hing-on EE-lo”), for example, means enjoying someone else’s bad luck. And kalsarikännit (“KAL-sari KAHN-it”) means getting drunk in your underwear.

The far north of the country, called Finnish Lapland, is home to the Sami people — also known as Lapps — who speak the Sami language. This area has more reindeer (about 200,000) than people (about 180,000), and it’s a great place to see aurora borealis — the northern lights.

However, because winter in northern Finland is very long and cold, most people live in the south of the country.

Finns love nature. Almost two-thirds of Finland is covered in forest, and it has 56,000 lakes. Almost one-tenth of the country is covered with water! If you love kayaking, canoeing, hiking or cross-country skiing, this is the perfect place for you!

The most popular sport in Finland is ice hockey, but Finland is also home to a sport called wife-carrying. The wife-carrying world championships are held in Finland every year, and the top prize is the wife’s weight in beer.

Finns also love saunas and coffee. There are around 3 million saunas in Finland, and Finnish sauna culture has been recognized by UNESCO. Finns also drink more coffee — on average four cups a day — than anyone else in the world!

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. Do you see yourself visiting Finland at some point in the future?

3. Why do you imagine Finland has ranked as the happiest country in the world for six years in a row?

4. What are your thoughts on Finland’s wife-carrying sport? Does your country have any unique sports or activities?

5. Would you rather go kayaking, canoeing, hiking, or cross-country skiing?

6. Are saunas popular in your country? When was the last time you went to one?

7. Could you see yourself living in a place with very long and cold winters?

8. What areas of your country would you recommend to tourists who love nature?

9. Does your country have a big coffee-drinking culture? How has this changed over the years?

10. Are there many places in your country that have been recognized by UNESCO?

11. What would you say are the best things about living in your country?


Lab-Grown Meat Moves Closer to US Stores

People in the US may soon be able to eat meat that has been grown in laboratories.

That’s after the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it had not found any problems with a product made by a company called Upside Foods.

The product is made by taking living cells from chickens or their eggs and growing them in a laboratory.

The company says that the cells from one chicken can create the same amount of meat as hundreds of thousands of farmed birds.

However, it still needs to pass some more tests before the meat can be sold.

Companies across the world have been experimenting with growing meat in laboratories, something that could help reduce the harmful effects of meat farming on the environment.

A report published in Nature Food in 2021 found that 57% of the greenhouse gasses that are produced in food production come from the farming of animals for meat.

In December 2020, Singapore became the first and, so far, only country to allow the sale of lab-grown meat. But the US could be next, if Upside Foods continues to show that its products are safe for people to eat.

The FDA said that it is working with other companies who are doing similar things with meat and seafood cells.

Lab-grown meats look almost the same as other meat products, but for many people the big question is: How do they taste?

Well, in recent years, some people have said they were not able to tell the difference between “real” meat and lab-grown meat.

But others weren’t so excited about the idea of lab-grown meat.

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. What are your thoughts on Upside Food’s FDA approval?

3. How would you feel about eating lab-grown meat?

4. Do you think lab-grown meats will become commonplace in your lifetime?

5. Have you tried any plant-based meat alternatives?

6. Do you know many vegans or vegetarians?

7. What meats are often used in your country’s cooking?

8. How meat-heavy is the typical diet in your country?

9. Do you know anyone who would never give up meat?

10. Have you been to any good vegan or vegetarian restaurants?

11. To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. — Mahatma Gandhi. What are your thoughts on this statement?


25% of Irish 6-Year-Olds Own a Smartphone

One in four children in Ireland aged 6 years old owns a smartphone, new research finds.

A survey done for Irish online safety charity CyberSafeKids asked 900 parents with children aged 5 to 17 about their children’s smartphone use.

The survey found that 24% of 6-year-olds had a smartphone — and only 28% of parents used parental controls on their children’s devices.

The survey also found that more than half of parents did not feel confident about teaching their children how to stay safe online.

Alex Cooney, CEO of CyberSafeKids, said the research shows a “worrying gap” between children’s internet use and their parents’ ability to support them to be safe online.

The charity released the survey results on Safer Internet Day on February 6. Begun in the European Union in 2004, this day aims to raise awareness of a “safer and better internet for all.”

On the same day, CyberSafeKids also released a guideline called Better Digital Parenting. It offers advice on things like how to set parental controls on online devices, and says that very young children should never use the internet alone.

However, Cooney believes that parents are not the only ones responsible for keeping children safe online. Schools need to offer online safety education, governments must make stronger regulations, and social media companies should do more to help, she wrote in The Irish Times.

Many social media companies, including X and Facebook, already require users to be at least 13 years old. And last year, the US state of Utah even banned people under 18 from creating social media accounts without their parents’ permission.

However, in 2022, research from UK communications regulator Ofcom found that a third of children aged between 8 and 17 with a social media profile had their age set to 18 or over.

1. Summarize the content of the article.

2. What are your thoughts on CyberSafeKids’ findings?

3. Do you imagine a lot of 6-year-olds in your country own a smartphone?

4. Would you feel confident teaching a kid how to stay safe online?

5. At what age do you think young children should be allowed to use the internet by themselves?

6. Do you agree that online safety education should be offered at schools?

7. How old were you when you got your first smartphone?

8. How much time do you spend on your phone? Has this changed over time?

9. Do you try to limit the amount of time you spend online?

10. Do you think you’d find it easy to give up your smartphone for a month?

11. We take better care of our smartphones than we do of ourselves. — Arianna Huffington. What are your thoughts on this quote?