Body image concerns more men than women (worksheets for Guardian news lesson)

(To be used with just the article from here: – or the Onestopenglish version if you can still find it)

Discuss these trends in pairs:

– Body image problems amongst women

– Body image problems amongst men

– Body talk

– Compulsive exercise

– Dieting to lose weight

– Dieting to gain muscle

– Bulimia (vomiting and/ or using laxatives after eating to lose weight)

– Nose jobs (a kind of cosmetic surgery = plastic surgery)

Try to predict a percentage for each of these things about the UK. For each one, the group who combines the right answer with the most precise estimate will get two points, or the closest guess will get one point if everyone is wrong.

– Men who talk about their own or others’ bodies

– Women who talk about their own or others’ bodies

– Men who have heard someone refer to their beer belly

– Men who have been described as chubby

– Men who have heard people talking about their moobs (man boobs)

– Men whose worries about their appearance have stopped them going to the gym

– Men who think their arms or chest aren’t muscular enough

– Men who think about their appearance at least five times a day

– Men who are on a high protein diet to increase their muscles

– Men who are on a diet to slim down

– Men who would give up at least a year of their life if they could have the ideal body weight and shape

– Men who would give up ten years or more if they could have the ideal body weight and shape

– Men who have made themselves sick to control their weight

– Men who have used laxatives to control their weight

Useful language

Around/ More or less/ (Very) approximately…

Between… and…/ From… to…

Less/ Fewer than…

(A tiny bit/ A bit/ Quite a lot/ A lot/ Much much) more than…

In the (low/ mid/ high) twenties/ thirties/…

(Very) nearly/ Almost…

(Almost) exactly…

Read the text and check your answers


Which information were you most and least surprised by?

Why do you think these two numbers are at that level?

What things are similar and different in your country and other places you know about, do you think?

How much of your life would you give up to have the ideal body weight and shape?

What would you give up a year of your life for? What about two years, five years and ten years?

Design a question starting “Would you give up ________ years of your life if…?” and write the answer you expect from your partner. Ask them the question and compare with your prediction.


PDF for easy saving and printing: Body image

Related pages

Generalising/ Hedging page

Medical English page

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