Vocabulary: Obese, Fat or Overweight

Students often confuse the words: obese, fat and overweight. This lesson will explain the difference between these words so that you learn to use them correctly.

IELTS often has questions in both writing and speaking about the problems of eating fast food or problems with the modern diet. Making mistakes with these words is common and will damage your band score.

  • Obesity (n) / Obese (adj) = a medical condition when excess body fat has accumulated and can have a negative impact on a persons health by contributing to health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or kidney problems. This term is often used incorrectly and is only used in extreme cases when a person’s weight is a serious health concern and is labelled as a medical condition.
  • Overweight (n) / Overweight (adj) = weighing more than is considered normal or more than is optimally healthy and can cause some health concerns depending on how overweight a person is. This is neither negative or positive in meaning and is just a statement of a person’s size.
  • Fat = being larger than normal. This is used informally to describe people who are considered larger than average. It is not a polite term to use and can be offensive to people.

Practice Vocabulary Questions

Fill in the sentences below with the correct word listed above. Make sure you use the correct form of the word. A word may be used more than once.

  1. Many people who have a sedentary lifestyle are …………………. because they do not participate in regular exercise.
  2. My next door neighbour got quite ………… when she went to live in America for a year. I think she ate fast food most the time.
  3. 14 million children worldwide under the age of 5 were either overweight or ………….. in 2016.
  4. Worldwide ………… has nearly tripled since 1975.
  5. It is easy for people to become ……………….. if they do not eat a healthy diet.


The answers are available on the link below.


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Common English Names for Boys

Below is a list of common English names for boys. You will also find an audio so that you can listen to the pronunciation of the names as well. For students preparing for their IELTS test, it is useful to learn common English names for your listening section 1.

Next to some names are the nicknames. These are familiar names often used instead of the real name. You can also listen to common girls’ names or watch a video with practice listening for names.

Boys Names

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