IELTS Writing task 2 (Agree / Disagree Opinion Essay)
In some countries, an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating too much fast food. It is therefore necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience
Write at least 250 words.
The growth of the fast-food industry has, without doubt, impacted on the eating habits and the health of many societies around the world. Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart, and respiratory problems are all on the rise due to fatty and sugar-rich food. However, the question is whether the higher tax would improve this situation or not.
From an economic point of view, the higher tax might seem sensible. In countries, such as the USA, Australia, and Britain, the healthcare system spends a large amount of its budget on people with diet-related health problems. It could be argued that these people have caused their own illness because of their choice of food. In this case, why should they expect the state to pay for their treatment? The tax could help fund the healthcare system.
However, we also need to consider which socio-economic group consumes fast-food as the main part of their diet. Statistics indicate that lower-income groups eat more of this food than wealthier people. One possible reason for this is that fast food is far cheaper than fresh produce. This is because many governments offer large subsidies to farmers who provide products for the fast-food industries. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are non subsidized. Research suggests that many families cannot afford to buy healthy food or pay higher taxes on fast-food. For them, fast-food is not a choice but a necessity.
In conclusion, imposing a higher tax on fast food does not seem to be the answer. If the government chose to do this, it would only lead to greater poverty and families facing further hardship.
Source: The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training.