Some people think that the main influence on young people's diet is advertising rather than family and friends. To what extent do you agree or disagree ?
Today young people’s diet consists of plenty of unhealthy junk food. This may be due to their parent’s busy lifestyle. Being at work all day means that parents have hardly any free time to cook a healthy meal for their family. Young people also spend a lot of time watching television and surfing the internet which gives fast food restaurants the opportunity to promote their food.
A person’s environment has an impact on their diet. If a young person eats all their meals at home and one of their parents cooks for them on a daily basis then they are likely to have a balanced diet. Parents that take responsibility for their children’s nutrition will therefore have a greater influence on their eating patterns. Friends also play an important role in a person’s choice of food because youngsters spend most of their free time with their friends and they are subject to peer pressure too.
Advertising for food is conveniently placed on billboards, slotted during breaks of popular TV shows and pop ups while surfing frequently visited sites. These colorful ads have catchy tunes, are easy to remember, display delicious-looking food and promise free gifts or special offers. All these factors make dining at these outlets very attractive. It seems that marketing departments have found a successful way to lure young people and influence their preferences.
To sum up, I believe that what a young person eats depends on who they spend the most time with and their family’s philosophy towards food. If children spend many hours in front of the TV or a computer they will get to see more advertisements for ready meals and they will be the ones trying to convince their parents to take them out for some fast food.
Question taken from Direct to IELTS, Student's book p.59