Health
Is health awareness important? Do you think people have become more health conscious in recent years? What can be done to make people more aware of their health?
Vocabulary
  • Physical condition (noun) —the condition or state of the body or bodily functions.
  • Old wives tale (idiom) — is a supposed truth which is actually spurious or a superstition.
  • To dispel (verb) — to make (a doubt, feeling, or belief) disappear.
  • To tackle (verb) — to make an organized and determined attempt to deal with a problem.
  • Checkup (noun) — an examination by a doctor or dentist to make sure that you are healthy.
  • Reactive (adj.) — acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it.
  • Proactive (adj.) — creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.
  • Baseline (noun) — a minimum or starting point used for comparisons.
  • To unwind (verb) — to relax after a period of work or tension.
Questions and answers
Maria: Rory, is health awareness important?

Rory: Yeah, I think so. I think you’ve got to maintain a good physical condition regardless of where you are, and being healthy and knowing that you’re healthy helps with that. Especially now that we consume so many things that are potentially bad for us.

Maria: Do you think people have become more health conscious in recent years?

Rory: Oh, definitely. We’re surrounded by advertisements and social media displays pictures of people in various states of health and non health. And I suppose on top of that, there’s a lot of misinformation and old wives tales that got to be dispelled. So, yeah, I think we’re definitely more health conscious in general and then specifically to tackle these problems.

Maria: What can be done to make people more aware of their health?

Rory: Well, I don’t know… They can look in the mirror. I think probably more seriously, if people could go for checkups and they can find out their limits in terms of what they can do to their bodies or with their bodies, if they go to the gym, for example, making sure they don’t hurt themselves. And then in addition to that, once they know that their health is important, then they can brainstorm ways to be healthy and try them out.

Maria: How does public health care help people?

Rory: Well, I suppose right now it’s more reactive than proactive. It always seems to focus on
the more immediate issues that people face with their health rather than promoting ways of hard to prevent problems from happening, which is something I’m in two minds about, actually.

Maria: Do you think the government should promote a healthy lifestyle among the citizens.

Rory: It’s an interesting idea. I suppose since I am a bit more liberal in outlook. I think the least the government could do is not promote unhealthy lifestyles and maybe have, like, promote a baseline, something like: “don’t overeat and if you go to the gym, you’ll feel better”. I think I would draw the line at the government telling people what to do, though. There are so many ways to be healthy and, you know, a little bit of unhealthy behavior is not the worst thing in the world.

Maria: Could you give me an example of this unhealthy behavior?

Rory: Well, for example, like, alcohol is basically a neurotoxin, but people still like… You can drink it to unwind and relax. Obviously, you don’t want to become an alcoholic, but at the same time, you want to chill out and have fun with your friends, so… And drinking together, it can be a way to achieve that. So I think it would be not such a good thing if the government told people suddenly, like, stop drinking.

Maria: So you are just saying that drinking alcohol is fine?

Rory: Well, as long as you don’t overdo it! It’s slightly unhealthy. But it’s not as long as you don’t drink so much that you collapse and die, it’s not really that bad.

Maria: Would you say modern science and technology has more of a positive or negative influence on people’s health?

Rory: Hmm. Overall, it’s been positive, probably, for example, even though people in companies can still misuse science to their own ends. Food now is cleaner and better and more effectively produced than ever before. So in that sense, it’s had a great impact on people’s health. Similarly, you’ve got smartwatches that monitor your… well, how your body functions, for example. And I think that’s made people more aware of their health as well. And it’s hopefully pushed them in a positive direction.
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