Nutrition and obesity

Scrub up – vocabulary.

How many of these foods can you name? Use the words given below.


Exercise 2 Translations of the given expressions

  1. Protein – protein
  2. Carbohydrate – ogljikov hidrat
  3. Dairy products – mlečni izdelki
  4. Pulse – stročnica
  5. Food high in fat – hrana, ki vsebuje veliko maščobe
  6. To contain – vsebovati
  7. High levels of vitamin C – visoka stopnja vitamina C
  8. Food low in vitamins – hrana z malo vitaminov
  9. Junk food – nezdrava hrana
  10. Nutritious – hranljiv, redilen
  11. To stir – mešati
  12. An athlete – a person who trains to compete in sports
  13. A diabetic – a person suffering from diabetes, an illness in which the body does not process sugars due to a lack of hormone insulin


Key to the exercise:

Sources of protein: tuna fish pie, cheese pizza, lentil soup, fried eggs, baked beans, burgers, lamb kebab


Sources of carbohydrate: egg noodles, cheese pizza, fried rice, boiled potatoes, doughnut


UNIT 8: NUTRITION AND OBESITY (=debelost, obilnost)


The body gets nutrients and energy from food. Balanced diet provides for optimal growth and development, whereas an unbalanced diet causes problems with maintenance of body tissues, the brain and nervous system, and bones and muscles. Eating a balanced diet means eating food from all of the four basic food groups: the milk group (= dairy products), the meat (and meat substitute) group, the fruit and vegetable group, and the grain group.


One result of unbalanced diet combined with inactivity is obesity – a condition in which excess fat has accumulated in the body.


Excessive amounts of fat in the body tissue are associated with the following health problems:

  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Respiratory problems
  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gallbladder disease


There are a variety of treatments for obesity, such as diet and behaviour therapy to drugs and surgery.


Eating disorders (motnje hranjenja) are:

  • obesity
  • anorexia nervosa – when an individual starves themselves in order to lose weight, when in fact they are already grossly underweight,
  • bulimia nervosa – eating large amounts of food in one sitting and then vomiting, plus the use of laxatives, diuretics, and vigorous exercise,
  • pica – (bolezenska potreba po zaužitju snovi, ki ni hrana) a condition particularly prevalent in children in which they eat things like dirt, wood, hair, and glass.


All of these have severe consequences to a person’s health and can even cause death.


Today, medicine recognizes obesity as a chronic disease, and patients with eating disorders are seen as victims whose suffering is not self-inflicted but the result of an illness. Many people with an eating disorder attempt to hide their abnormal behaviour, do not accept the diagnosis, and will refuse treatment.














Descriptions of vitamins, minerals, and oils

  • Vitamin C is needed to help the skin repair itself when it is cut or damaged. It is found in fruit, especially citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit.
  • The B-vitamins keep the nervous system healthy and help reduce stress. They are found in foods like wholegrain bread and cereals.
  • Vitamin A keeps the eyes healthy and is important for good vision. It is found in fatty foods like butter, cheese, whole milk, and yoghurt.
  • Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones and teeth because it helps body absorb calcium. Our body makes Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.
  • Calcium is needed for children’s bones and teeth to grow. It is found in foods like milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
  • Iron helps your blood carry oxygen. If you do not get enough iron, you will be pale and tired and you may get anaemia. Iron is found in red meats, especially liver.
  • Zink makes your immune system stronger so you can fight colds and infections. It is found in shellfish, nuts (oreščki), and seeds (semena).
  • Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which helps your brain function well. It is found in oily fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, and tuna.
  • Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein.
  • Carbohydrates are sugars which are broken down by enzymes then stored in the cells as a source of energy. Grain products such as rice, bread, and pasta are sources of carbohydrate.
  • Fats fuel the body and help absorb some vitamins. They are also building blocks of hormones, and they insulate nervous system tissue in the body. Unsaturated fats (nenasicčene maščobe), found in oils and nuts, for example are believed to protect the cardiovascular system.



It occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose in the blood. One type of diabetes appears in childhood, and the other type appears after the age of 18.

It is very common for very overweight people to get diabetes, so the illness is linked to obesity.

For this reason, it is important to get the right balance between food and exercise. It is important to be active, and to eat a healthy diet, containing plenty of fruit and vegetables. Nutritionists say snacks are better than big meals.


Some useful vocabulary:

Skimmed milk – posneto mleko

Semi-skimmed milk – delno posneto mleko

To have/get cravings for food – imeti/dobiti bolestno potrebo po hrani

To eat between meals – jesti med obroki

To skip meals – preskočiti, izpustiti obroke hrane

To cut down on sth. – zmanjšati, znižati porabo, omejiti porabo

To cut out sth – opustiti, prenehati z (to cut out cigarettes)

To lose wight

To gain weight








Palliative or hospice care supports dying people and their relatives but does not try to cure. In the past, to concentrate on not curing but on making a terminally ill patient (neozdravljivo bolan) comfortable was seen as “giving up” (predaja, vdaja). Now the approach is to accept the dying process, and to focus on supporting patient and family to cope with realities of a terminal condition from a diagnosis through treatment, death, and bereavement (smrt bližnjih, boleča izguba).

An important aspect of palliative care is alleviation (olajšanje, ublažitev) of pain, and practitioners who work in this field have developed ways of using drugs such as Morphine to relieve pain while at the same time maintaining a patient’s full activities. Palliative care also makes use of alternative treatments that can help with pain management, such as relaxation therapy, massage, and music therapy.

When a patient dies in a hospital, nursing staff provide post-mortem care. This is a set of procedures which includes making records and preparing the body for relatives. Post-mortem care varies according to culture and religion, and whether or not there is going to be an autopsy to get more information about the cause of death.





A burial is a ceremony where a dead body is placed in the ground. (pokop s krsto)

A cremation is a ceremony where a dead body is burned. (upepelitev)

A funeral is a ceremony where a dead body is buried or burned. (pogreb)

A terminal disease – that cannot be cured, and causes death – neozdravljiva bolezen

To go downhill – to become more and more weak or ill

Life support – the use of machines to keep a person alive

Coma – an unconscious state that a person cannot wake from

To pass away – a polite word meaning to die

To grieve – žalovati

Death certificate – before a body can be buried, a doctor must issue a death certificate stating the cause of death


Breaking bad news

Medical staff sometimes need to give sad news, for example that an illness is terminal, or that a relative has died. Some tips for breaking bad news:

  • Allow a lot of time – the person may need time to understand and accept what you are saying, and to ask questions
  • Find a private place – it is important for personal news to be heard only by the person concerned; it is difficult to give somebody a clear message if there is a lot of noise and movement around
  • Express sympathy – people are vulnerable (ranljiv) at this time, especially they are in a hospital and not at home, so human warmth is important
  • Use simple and honest language – it is vital for the person to clearly understand the news
  • Other possible tips: give a warning that you are about to give bad news: I’m afraid I have some bad news…; repeat important points to make sure the person understands, don’t give too much information at once; be sensitive to a person – look for non-verbal signs such as body language, tears; encourage the person to talk about their feelings and ask questions; don’t be afraid to show your emotion if you feel need to.


Useful vocabulary

You have my deepest sympathy. – Moje iskreno sožalje.

Please allow me to express my sympathies at the death of your wife. – Moje iskreno sožalje ob smrti vaše žene.

A letter of sympathy – sožalno pismo


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