Obesity Vocabulary

This is a list of vocabulary items related to obesity, health and healthy food


a serious illness often resulting in dangerous weight loss, in which a person, especially a girl or woman, does not eat, or eats too little, because they fear becoming fat:

Reports of anorexia and other eating disorders are on the increase, with 6000 new cases in the UK every year.

Compare bulimia.


adjective, also anorectic

She looks anorexic to me.
Anorexics tend to be obsessional and perfectionist


a mental illness in which someone eats uncontrollably and in large amounts, then vomits to remove the food from their body



She suffers from bulimia; she's bulimic


Rounded and plump, fat


1 the food and drink usually taken by a person or group:

Diet varies between different countries in the world.
a healthy/balanced/varied diet
Rice is the staple diet (= most important food) of many people in China.
The children seem to exist on a diet of burgers and chips.

2 when someone eats less food, or only particular types of food, because they want to become thinner or for medical reasons. In tis case we say he's on diet (to be on a diet)

I'm going on a diet next week and hope to lose two kilos before Christmas.
a crash/strict/calorie-controlled diet
The doctor put me on a low-salt diet to reduce my blood pressure


a person who scientifically studies, and gives advice about, food and eating


Having much or too much fat or flesh; plump or obese.


describes food that contains a lot of fat, sugar, etc. that would quickly make you fatter if you ate a lot of it.

Fattening food, such as cheese and chocolate


1 healthy and strong, especially as a result of exercise:

I jog to keep fit.
You need to be very fit to hike the Inca Trail.

2 be (as) fit as a fiddle (British also be (as) fit as a flea): to be very healthy and strong:

My grandmother's 89, but she's as fit as a fiddle.

The opposite is unfit


The condition of the body and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being well:

to be in good/poor health
Regular exercise is good for your health.
I had to give up drinking for health reasons.
He gave up work because of ill-health.

Healthy, in good health

1 strong and well:

She's a normal healthy child.
He looks healthy enough.

2 showing that you are strong and well:

The walk had given her a healthy glow.
a healthy appetite.


the substances that you take into your body as food and the way that they influence your health:

Good nutrition is essential if patients are to make a quick recovery.
improvements in nutrition


relating to nutrition:

Chemical sweeteners have no nutritional value.


extremely fat


The condition of being obese; increased body weight caused by excessive accumulation of fat.


Well-rounded and full in form; chubby; fat.


1 (British English -informal) describes food that you can eat without getting fat:

Have a salad - that's slimming

2 (American English) making you look thinner:

Black is very slimming.


attractively thin:

she's slim
slim hips/legs
She's got a lovely slim figure.

Skimmed milk

milk from which the cream has been removed

Sugar free

Sugar-free foods do not contain any sugar and are usually artificially sweetened:

sugar-free chewing-gum


with little flesh on the bones:

Did you notice how thin her wrists were?
Thin, hungry dogs roamed the streets.

To eat healthily

to eat healthy food. Not junk food

To put on weight

to get fat

To be overweight

to be fat

To slim down

The opposite of to put on weight or to get fat

To weigh

to have a heaviness of a stated amount, or to measure the heaviness of a person or an object:

To do exercise / to exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy:

Swimming is my favorite form of exercise.
You really should take more exercise.
I do stomach exercises most days


a person who does not eat meat for health or religious reasons or because they want to avoid cruelty to animals:

Of the four million people who have become vegetarians in Britain, nearly two-thirds are women.


a person who does not eat or use any animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese or leather:

Vegans get all the protein they need from nuts, seeds, beans and cereals.


the amount that something or someone weighs:

What weight can this lorry safely carry?
There was a slight decrease in his weight after a week of dieting.

Wholemeal bread

bread made with whole wheat flour