This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Search BBC
BBC World Service
BBC BBC News BBC Sport BBC Weather BBC World Service Worldservice languages
spacer gif
You are in: Home page > News English > Words in the News
Learning English
spacer gif
Words in the News
Wednesday 05 June 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Obese
World Heart Federation obesity warning
Summary: The World Heart Federation is warning that obesity will overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of heart disease unless the current trend of unhealthy lifestyles stops. At least a billion people across the globe are now extremely overweight, putting a massive strain on the world wide healthcare systems. This report from Emma Jane Kirby.
   
The News Listen  
  Obesity, which can cause heart disease, strokes and diabetes is on the increase across the globe. According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated twenty-two million children under five years old are now severely overweight. Nearly one in three children in the United States between the ages of five and fourteen is obese, compared to one in six, thirty years ago.

But obesity is not a condition which solely affects the Western World. Increasingly, low and middle income countries are suffering from the condition, often due to a change in their diets, as they substitute fibre intake for a much higher consumption of saturated fats and sugar. In Beijing, for example, one in five children of school age is now obese.

The World Heart Federation says obesity can also be blamed for spiralling health costs. The US spends almost a tenth of its national healthcare budget on overweight patients, and in Western countries as much as two point eight percent of the total sick care costs is attributable to obesity. The Federation warns that unless the world's population acts now to eat a healthier diet and to take more exercise, obesity will rapidly overtake smoking as the leading lifestyle risk factor for heart disease and strokes.

Emma Jane Kirby, BBC

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  on the increase
growing

 
   
  condition
medical problem

 
   
  low and middle income countries
poorer countries

 
   
  substitute
if you substitute something for something else you use it instead of the other thing

 
   
  fibre intake
the amount of fibre they eat

 
   
  higher consumption of saturated fats
eating of more fats that are considered bad for you

 
   
  spiralling
here, increasing rapidly

 
   
  attributable to
likely to be caused by

 
   
  overtake
here, become a bigger problem than...

 
   
  lifestyle risk factor
something people choose to do which can badly affect their health

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

BBC copyright
 
Learning English | News English | Business English | Watch and Listen
 
Grammar and Vocabulary | Communicate | Quizzes | For teachers
 
Downloads | FAQ | Contact us