The exam’s Comprehension Text
Doctors in Britain are warning of an obesity time bomb, when children who are already overweight grow up. So, what should we do? Exercise more? Eat less? Or both? The government feels it has to take responsibility for this expanding problem.
The cheerful Mr Pickwick, the hero of the novel by Charles Dickens, is seen in illustrations as someone who is plump and happy. In the 18th century paintings, beauty was equated with rounded bodies and soft curves. But nowadays, being overweight is seen as indicating neither a cheerful character not beauty, but an increased risk of heart, stroke and diabetes.
So what should you do? Diet? not according to England’s chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson. He says tha physical activity is the key for reducing the risks of obesity, cancer and heart disease. Being inactive is as serious a risk factor in heart disease as smoking.
So, having bought some sport shoes, how much exercise should you do? According to Sir Liam Donaldson, at least thirty minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Is going to the sports club the answer? Luckily for those who find the training machines boring, the Health Development Agency officials believe that physical activity which fits into people’s lives maybe more effective. They suggest taking the stairs rather than the lift, walking up escalators, playing active games with your children, dancing or gardening. And according to a sport psychologist, Professor Biddle, ‘sports clubs are not making the nation fit, and may even cause harm.’
There’s new scientific evidence that too much exercise may actually be bad for you. Scientists at the University of Ulster have found that unaccustomed aerobic exercise releases dangerous substances that can badly affect normal function in unfit people. The only people who should push their bodies to that level of exercise on a regular basis are trained athletes.
So, should we forget about sports clubs and follow some experts’s advice to reduce sedentary activities and increase exercise in our daily life? After all, getting off the bus stop end and walking the rest of the way can’t do any harm! One final thought: how come old generations had no gym facilities but were fitter and healthier than people today?
National exam | Arts Stream | Catch-up Session 2005 with Answers.