Views #905 | High Intermediate 6

Overweight Island

Michael and Clare talk about gaining weight in unlikely locations.

Clare: Hello this is Clare from the United States, I am talking with Mike from Singapore about obesity and diet in our countries. America is famous for well infamous for being one of the fattest countries in the world. Mike you said that in Singapore diet is something of an issue as well, can you please explain?

Mike: Right, well we have all the usual burger joints, Pizza Place, all the fast food basically in Singapore are also and because a lot of us are busy working so naturally this food actually seem like a good idea because it saves us a lot of time and if you're working in a city like Singapore, during lunchtime, you don't have time to basically queue with everybody for food and stuff ... so, fast food are actually good alternative to get your lunch. And on top of that, we have what we call, in Chinese we call it "kopitian". What it means is "coffee shop" in English and these coffee shops they don't serve, they serve coffee also but a lot of it is actually local delicacies, and Singaporean food are famous for being delicious but very, very high in cholesterol.

Clare: Well can you give me an example of a dish?

Mike: OK, one of the famous dish is actually originated from I think Malaysia or Indonesia. It's called "Nasi Lemak". Nasi Lemak is Malay for "rice". What this food ... what Nasi Lemak is actually it consists of fish, which is fried fish and fried egg with coconut rice and ...

Clare: What is coconut rice? I've never heard of that.

Mike: Coconut rice is actually normal rice cooked with, I think, coconut milk, if I'm not wrong and so rice gives off a very, very nice fragrance and we just call it coconut rice. And this coconut rice is, as you can imagine, very very high in cholesterol and ...

Clare: Right, and sugar too

Mike: Right. So Nasi Lemak is one fine example. Another example is probably "char kway teow". Char Kway Teow is actually a Tawainese word for fried noodles. So this char kway teow is basically Chinese rice noodles with some fish cakes and with a lot of chilly and bean sprouts and they use a lot of ... I think it's black sauce, Chinese black sauce. Actually I'm not really sure what's the American equivalent. So, just like Nasi Lemat previously, this char kway teow is also very, very high in ...

Clare: In cholesterol.

Mike: Right.

Clare: Although it sounds really, really good. I ate before coming here but I'm hungry again!

Mike: And I think most of the delicious food are high in cholesterol.

Clare: Because frying makes everything taste better.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson!

an issue


In Singapore, diet is something of an issue as well.

An 'issue' is a topic or a problem that people are thinking and talking about.  Notice the following:

  1. The economy is the biggest issue people are talking about.
  2. In San Francisco, gay marriage is not an issue.



You don't have time to queue with everybody for food.

A 'queue' is a line of people waiting for something.  Notice the following:

  1. There was a long queue to get in the club.
  2. You need to queue up to order your food.



Fast food places are good alternative to get your lunch.

When we have an alternative that means we have a second choice.  Notice the following:

  1. A pen is a common alternative to the pencil.
  2. If you can't drink milk, soy milk is a good alternative.

as you can imagine


Coconut rice is, as you can imagine, very high in cholesterol.

The phrase 'as you can imagine' is similar in meaning to 'as you can guess'.  Notice the following:

  1. As you can imagine, Hawaii is a nice place to live.
  2. Medical school is, as you can imagine, very difficult.



Most delicious foods are high in cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a type of fat that can cause health problems if we have too much.  Notice the following:

  1. Fried food is high in cholesterol.
  2. Veggies are very low in cholesterol.

Vocabulary Quiz

issue • queue • alternatives
you can imagine • cholesterol
  1. Are there any to surgery?
  2. The doctor did a blood test and told me my was very high.
  3. I have been standing in the at the bank for over 30 minutes.
  4. We have discussed this many times before.
  5. that's it's not very fun to live in a place where it rains all the time.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Michael talks about serving in his country.

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