The Charts Below Show the Average Percentages in Typical Meals

The charts below show the average percentages in typical meals of three types of nutrients, all of which may be unhealthy if eaten too much.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 14 Test 1 Writing Task 1.

Average percentages of sodium, saturated fats and added sugars in typical meals consumed in the USA

average percentages in typical meals of three types of nutrients

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Sample Essay

The pie charts show the average consumption of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar by meal. All three categories of nutrients may be harmful to health if over-consumed. <Watch the video at 00:41 to learn the use of “by meal”. >

Overall, while the intake of sodium and saturated fat is higher at dinner than at any other meal, added sugar is eaten most in snacks. <Watch the video at 02:27 to learn why “most” instead of “the most” is used.>

Sodium consumption is highest at dinner and second highest at lunch, making up 43% and 29% of total sodium consumption respectively. The proportions of this type of nutrient taken in at snack time and breakfast are the same, both at 14%. Dinner and lunch also account for the largest and the second largest proportions of total saturated fat intake respectively, at 37% and 26%. However, a greater proportion is eaten at snack time, at 21%, than at breakfast, at 16%.

Compared with the other two nutrients, added sugar has a relatively low consumption level at dinner, at 23%. It is snacks that are the greatest source of sugar intake, at 42%.  However, like the other nutrients, it is also consumed least at breakfast, at only 16%. (179 Words)

How to Vary Your Language

Eat
  • Consume

Example: Sodium is consumed most at dinner.

  • Take in

Example: Sodium is taken in most at dinner.

  • Consumption

Example: Dinner accounts for the largest proportion of total sodium consumption.

  • Intake

Example: Dinner accounts for the largest proportion of total sodium intake.

How to Describe the Biggest Categories

  • Dinner is the greatest source of sodium intake.
  • The intake of sodium is higher at dinner than at any other meal.
  • Sodium is taken in most at dinner.
  • Dinner accounts for the largest proportion of total sodium intake.
  • Sodium consumption is highest at dinner.
🔻 Note that here I used ‘highest’, not ‘the highest’. We tend to use “highest” without “the” when we are comparing something with itself in different circumstances. Here, we’re not comparing sodium consumption with the consumption of other types of nutrients. We are comparing sodium consumption at dinner with that at other meals.

9 CommentsLeave A Comment

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. Please read the two sentences carefully. These are two different grammar constructions.

  1. The three graphs illustrate the average proportion of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar consisted in typical meals for Americans. It is surprising to note that sodium and saturated fat are the main nutritional component of dinners while added sugar is regarded as the dominant element of snacks in the USA.

    The percentage of sodium and saturated fat, the dominant nutrients in typical American dinners, accounted for 43% and 37% respectively, while they are also the second most component of lunch constituting 29% and 26% respectively. As for added sugar, it is the major constituent of snacks making up 42%.

    When comparing the nutrients by meals, it seems that the American breakfast is the healthiest since it contains only 14% of sodium, 16% of saturated fat, and 16% of added sugar, and all of them rank as the lowest amount among the four meals those are compared. However, American dinner appears to be the unhealthiest meal as sodium, saturated fat and added sugar contributed significantly to its nutrient share.

    In conclusion, sodium and saturated fat are the major component of American dinner making it less healthy to eat. As expected, snacks contain mainly added sugar and a large portion of sodium making them an unhealthy option as well.

  2. Dear lilie,
    Thank you for the report.

    Can we use “likewise” instead of “also” where saturated fat’s pie chart is analysed. This is because dinner and lunch have the same pattern as the previous one.
    Thanks,
    Masoud

    1. Thanks for your question. Of course, you can’t simply replace “also” with “likewise”. How are you going to use “likewise”? Can you provide a complete sentence? It’s hard to say without seeing your actual sentence.

  3. The charts illustrate the average percentages in typical meals of sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars consumed in the USA. Each one of them can be unhealthy if eaten too much.
    Overall, breakfast has stayed almost equal to all three nutrients in the USA. Lunch meals have shown a little diversity. Meanwhile, the biggest difference is detailed with nutrients in the dinner time and snacks.
    During breakfast, the average percentage of sodium is 14%. Meanwhile, the 16 % is equal in both saturated fat and added sugars. During lunch, the average percentage of added sugar is 19 %. Meanwhile, 29 % is an average percentage of consuming sodium. Saturated fat has an average percentage of 26%.
    Dinner and snacks have the greatest change of all three nutrients. At the dinner time, Americans consume 43 % of sodium, the amount of saturated fat during dinner time is 37 %. However, the average percentage of added sugars in typical meals is 23 %. The amount of consuming sodium while eating snacks is 14%, saturated fat is 21%. Though, the percentage of added sugar in the snack is 42 %.

  4. The chart illustrate the average proportion of three types of nutrients in typical meals, which may be unhealthy if consumed too much. The three nutrients contain sodium, saturated fat and added sugar. This data is taken from United Stated of America.

    Overall, Sodium and saturated fat are heavily consumed in dinner whereas highest percentage of added sugar is consumed in snacks.

    Firstly, Sodium is taken in small amounts in breakfast and snacks about 14% in both whereas, in lunch it is doubled up to 29%. However, Sodium consumed in dinner is the highest with 43%. On the other hand, Saturated fat goes with same trend as sodium. 21% of saturated fat is present in snacks and 16% in breakfast. In lunch saturated fat is consumed of 26% of total nutrients, but in dinner saturated fat is consumed about 37% which is highest for saturated fat among other typical meals.

    Lastly, added sugars are largely taken in snacks about 42% and least in breakfast of 16%. In lunch and dinner, it is at 19% and 23% of total nutrients. Among all the typical meals, balanced meal is breakfast for consuming adequate amount of nutrients.

  5. The pie charts illustrate the average proportions of three categories of nutrients in typical meals which lead to bad health if there was a huge intake.
    Overall,while the consumption of sodium and saturated fat was the highest at dinner time,added sugar was eaten most in snacks.
    While considering the nutrients consumption for breakfast,intake of both saturated fat and added sugar were same at 16%,sodium consumption was less than 2% of the above nutrients.Sodium intake for lunch was 29% which was the highest and the least consumed nutrient was added sugar which was 19%.
    Sodium was consumed at a maximum rate 43% at dinner time and saturated fat was also closely consumed at 37%.It was the snacks that were the greatest source of added sugar intake,42%

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