Scientists Dissect Her Body And Discover How Obesity Really Affects A Person’s Health

Article originally published on eHealthWire.
Photo Copyright © 2016 BBC | October 3rd 2016

The BBC recently released a documentary covering the dissection of an obese woman’s body. The woman was only 5’5”, but she weighed almost 240 pounds. She had died of heart failure in her 60s and agreed to donate her body after death to scientific purposes.

A team of scientists decided to dissect her body to better understand how obesity affected a person’s health. The details of what they saw and discovered are enough to get anyone to become “aware of the fat on [their] own body.”

From the moment the dissection began, the scientists already recognized several effects of obesity.

The woman’s abdomen was difficult to cut through because of all the fat that had collected in the area. When the skin was sliced open, tissue “kind of bloomed out in neon yellow,” one scientist reported. The fat vaguely resembled butter with mesh running through the center.


“It made me aware of the fat on my own body and the effect it has,” one scientist said in response.

Although the body does need some fat to survive, being able to see fat, distinctly and visibly, serves as a clear warning sign that extra fat is present elsewhere on the body, causing damage; “the amount of fat you can see tells you how likely the fat is to be doing damage elsewhere.”

The woman’s heart also felt extremely baggy and heavy, not at all like the hard, tight heart of a physically fit person.

When doctors came upon the woman’s liver, they noted that the organ had gone through significant fat damage – similar to the damage wreaked upon a liver by excessive alcohol consumption. There was fat collected on the organ, which had raised the woman’s risk of suffering from liver failure.

The lungs were coated with fluid, increasing the chance of experiencing pulmonary edema, thereby raising the risk of enduring heart failure. The woman’s kidneys also bore signs of the negative effects of obesity. There were many large fat capsules, which caused the kidney to work much harder in detoxifying the body and filtering urine.


Doctors are constantly warning their patients from eating too many unhealthy foods and from becoming overweight. The ramifications of carrying extra weight may not always be visible, but they definitely have significant, detrimental effects on the body.