Brazil Provides Special Seats for Obese World Cup Fans

April 16, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. stadium
[STEY-dee-uh m] (n.) – a big, open building, that has many audience seats and is used mainly for sports like football and baseball
Example: Excited soccer fans filled the stadium to watch the final game.

2. svelte [svelt, sfelt] (adj.) – slim or thin in an attractive way
Example: Sheila achieved her svelte body through regular exercise in the gym.

3. upsurge [uhp-SURJ] (n.) – a sudden increase
Example: The violent storm caused an upsurge in food prices.

4. penchant  [PEN-chunt] (n.) – a strong liking or feeling about something
Example: Most boys have a penchant for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming.

5. caution [KAW-shuh n] (v.) – to warn about a possibly harmful or dangerous event
Example: Doctors cautioned people against dangers of obesity.

Read the text below.

The stadiums being built in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will have special seats for obese football fans. These seats will be double-wide and painted bright blue to make them stand out from ordinary seats. However, the double-sized seats will cost twice as much as the ordinary ones.

According to a government website, 2.4% or 1,675 seats out of 63,903 seats will be reserved for obese people and people with disabilities. This figure is much bigger than the 1% required by the Ministry of Sport.

Brazil, which many perceive as a country of fit, svelte citizens, has been seeing an increase in national obesity rates. According to a survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 48% of Brazilian adult women and 50% of men are now overweight. Today, one in every seven Brazilians is considered obese, which is about a 10% increase since 2004.

Scientists partly attribute this upsurge in obesity to Brazilians’ penchant for soft drinks and sweet desserts. Research also showed that today's Brazilians eat more processed foods and exercise less than before.

The World Health Organization cautioned that if obesity rates increase continuously, Brazilians could become as obese as Americans by 2022.

Like Brazilians, Americans have become fatter in recent decades. The US has shown the greatest rise in obesity out of all developed nations from the 1980s to the present. Today, obesity is considered a national crisis in the US.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that obese people should have special seats? Why do you think so?
·         If you were to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup, would you be willing to pay double for a more comfortable seat? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How do you think can people avoid obesity?
·         Do you consider yourself to be living a healthy lifestyle? Why or why not?


April 16, 2013