Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Wed Feb 9 18:35:25 UTC 2000

Joe Pickett <Joe_Pickett at HMCO.COM> writes:

Use of overweight as a noun is common in the health professions.  It sometimes
appears in the popular media in medical contexts. e.g.

"People generally go to health spas for some combination of these three reasons:
  to get in shape, to be pampered, to deal with a problem
 such as stress or overweight or grief."

Deborah Fallows Atlantic MOnthly July 1996

This usage, which I find familiar, sounds to me as if it's based on the noun use
of "weight" in the sense specifically of a person's weight, or by common
extension their position (objective, subjective, whatever) on a spectrum*
ranging from anorexic thru various degrees of thin to "average" thru degrees of
fat or heavy to obese. I can easily envision medical professionals wanting to be
more specific and referring to "overweight" to specify the direction of a
person's concern.

* I refuse to say "scale" here! :-)\

   Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist and Manager of Acoustic Data
         Mark_Mandel at dragonsys.com : Dragon Systems, Inc.
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/
                     (speaking for myself)

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