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  • Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

  • Rob: And, hello, I'm Rob.

  • Neil: In 6 Minute English we often talk about food,

  • don't we, Rob?

  • Rob: Oh yes! And I love food. It's a very important topic.

  • Neil: We know that too much of the wrong kind of food

  • can be bad for our health.

  • But there is another way that food can be harmful

  • for some people.

  • Rob: Yes, you're right.

  • Some people have food allergies.

  • They can become very ill if they eat certain foods

  • such as peanuts, shellfish, milk and so on.

  • So, Neil, do you have any food allergies?

  • Neil: Fortunately I don't, but my daughter is

  • allergic to tree nuts,

  • and so she gets very ill if she eats those.

  • Rob: Oh dear!

  • Well, it seems as if there are more

  • food allergies these days,

  • or more people have them.

  • Or maybe it's just in the news more.

  • Neil: Well, that's a very interesting point because

  • that is the topic of this programme.

  • Before we find out more though, here is our question.

  • One of the most common food allergies is to peanuts.

  • Now, what kind of food is a peanut? Is it:

  • A) a vegetable

  • B) a nut or

  • C) a legume

  • Rob: Oh, come on! A peanut is a nut!

  • There's a clue in the name there, Neil!

  • But that would be too easy, wouldn't it?

  • So I'm going to say that

  • I've got no idea what a legume is,

  • so that's my answer. C.

  • Neil: I'll have the answer at the end of the programme.

  • To help answer the question

  • as to whether food allergies are more common now,

  • here's Dr Adam Fox, who was speaking

  • on The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4.

  • Does he think there has been an increase?

  • Dr Adam Fox: I think we can be very confident

  • if you look back over, say, 30 or 40 years

  • that there are much more allergic problems around now

  • than there were. So, for example,

  • very robust studies that look at

  • prevalence of things like eczema, food allergy

  • do show really significant increases over

  • 20, 30 years, for example.

  • Neil: Has there been an increase?

  • Rob: Well, yes.

  • He says there have been significant increases.

  • This means there has been a 'clear and obvious rise'.

  • Neil: Why does he think that?

  • Rob: He said that there have been robust studies.

  • A 'study' is a piece of research and if you say a study is

  • 'robust', it means that it was 'very detailed

  • and conducted thoroughly to a high standard'.

  • Neil: He said that these studies looked at the prevalence

  • of a few things.

  • 'Prevalence' is a noun that refers to

  • how common something is, how often it happens.

  • Rob: One of the things they looked at

  • as well as food allergies was eczema.

  • This is a skin condition that usually happens

  • in childhood.The skin can get, red, itchy and painful over

  • different parts of the body.

  • Neil: Here's Dr Fox again.

  • Dr Adam Fox: I think we can be very confident,

  • if you look back over, say, 30 or 40 years

  • that there are much more allergic problems around now

  • than there were. So, for example,

  • very robust studies that look at

  • prevalence of things like eczema, food allergy do show

  • really significant increases over

  • 20, 30 years, for example.

  • Neil: So what is the reason for the increase

  • in food allergies? Is it genetics? Dr Fox again.

  • Dr Adam Fox: We certainly can't put it down to genetics.

  • And we now understand that there is a key role for

  • eczema. So, there's a pretty direct relationship between

  • whether you've got eczema during infancy

  • and your likelihood of getting a food allergy.

  • Neil: Is it genetics?

  • Rob: No, he says 'you can't put it down to genetics'

  • which means 'you can't explain it' by genetics.

  • Neil: In fact, according to the research,

  • if you have eczema as a child,

  • you are more likely to develop food allergies.

  • Here's Dr Fox one more time.

  • Dr Adam Fox: We certainly can't put it down to genetics.

  • And we now understand that there is a key role for

  • eczema. So, there's a pretty direct relationship between

  • whether you've got eczema during infancy

  • and your likelihood of getting a food allergy.

  • Neil: OK! Now, time to review our vocabulary, but first,

  • let's have the answer to the quiz question.

  • I asked: what kind of food is a peanut?

  • Is it: A) a vegetable

  • B) a nut

  • C) a legume

  • What did you say, Rob?

  • Rob: I said C) a legume, because

  • that was only one I didn't know

  • and it can't be as simple as being a nut!

  • Neil: An inspired guess!

  • If you said C) legume, then congratulations.

  • Despite the name, a peanut is not actually a nut.

  • Rather conveniently though,

  • we don't have time for me to explain exactly why

  • it's not a nut, but I'm sure you're smart enough

  • to look it up yourself.

  • Rob: So, you're not going to explain it?

  • Neil: No, sorry, we don't have the time.

  • Rob: Sounds to me like you're allergic to hard work, Neil!

  • Neil: Nice link to today's vocabulary.

  • We do have time for that.

  • Today we've been looking at the topic of 'food allergies'.

  • This is when a particular food

  • causes a medical problem.

  • Rob: The problem could be minor or it

  • could be very serious, even fatal

  • and these are called 'allergic reactions'.

  • Neil: The topic has been investigated

  • with 'robust studies'.

  • This is research that has been done in a very detailed,

  • accurate and thorough way.

  • Rob: The next word was the noun 'prevalence'.

  • This is used to talk about how common or how

  • frequent something is.

  • In this research, they examined the prevalence of

  • food allergies in certain age groups.

  • Neil: Closely connected to food allergies is 'eczema'.

  • This is a medical condition that makes your skin dry,

  • painful and itchy over different parts of the body.

  • Rob: It was reported that

  • there had a been a significant increase

  • in the number of people

  • suffering from eczema and food allergies.

  • A 'significant increase' is a big and important increase.

  • Neil: And finally we had the phrase

  • 'to put something down to something'.

  • This means 'to say one thing is the reason for another'.

  • In this case, you couldn't put the increase in food

  • allergies down to genetics.

  • Rob: You know what I put the success of

  • 6 Minute English down to?

  • Neil: No, what's that, Rob?

  • Rob: Your great knowledge of different subjects

  • and skill as a presenter and communicator.

  • Neil: Well, that's very kind of you

  • but I still don't have time to explain what a legume is!

  • In fact now it's time to wrap up

  • this edition of 6 Minute English.

  • We look forward to your company again soon.

  • In the meantime, check us out in all the usual places,

  • online and on social media.

  • We are BBC Learning English. Bye for now!

  • Rob: Goodbye!

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

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B1 rob genetics fox nut dr allergic

Are food allergies more common now? 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
Video vocabulary