Which one of the following sentences can be said by a doctor to one of his patients who is visiting that doctor?

  • The problem is that:
    • You are a gluttonous.
    • You are an overeater.

Gluttonous is impossible: it an adjective and cannot take the determiner a. Use the noun from which it is derived, glutton. But this is a very derogatory term (in fact, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins!), and a doctor would never use this to a patient.

Overeater is possible, but unlikely. To tell someone he is an "overeater" says that the fault lies in the patient's nature or character, and that is not only rude but tactically unproductive. I speak under correction by the physicians on this site, but I think a doctor would instead address the patient's actions:

You are eating too much.

This frames the problem as something which the patient can correct. Even better would be to speak not of the problem but of the solution, the positive action a patient can take:

You need to cut down your the sugars and starches in your diet and eat more fruits and vegetables.

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  • Overeater is very possible: Overeaters Anonymous – Peter Jan 9 '16 at 18:45
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    @Peter The patient may take the label, but I think it would be injudicious for a doctor to confer the label. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 9 '16 at 19:11

Most words ending with -ous are actually adjectives, which is the case here as well. So no, you can't say "You are a gluttonous." That is like saying, "You are a cheesy" - it doesn't make any sense.

The word you may be looking for is "glutton":

glutton: A person who eats or consumes immoderate amounts of food and drink.

However, I'll say that I haven't heard this word used before, so that may not be understood just because it is a rare word.

"You are an overeater" would be understood, but I'm not sure if that's common terminology, especially in the medical field. I usually hear "overeat" used by someone who has eaten too much in a particular instance, not in that particular form.

Person A: What'd you think of that food?
Person B: It was really good, but I think I overate...

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