Post mortem on obesity helps show dangers of excess weight

Being overweight isn’t all that bad is it? It’s really just a way of classing people different, body shaming, dictating what you should look like?

This insightful programme by the BBC shows the post mortem of an obese lady and the effects on the body are shown like never before.

Even if you are just overweight now you really must watch this programme and think “is this really me in the future?” To prevent these medical issues from happening to you start losing weight now. One lady says herself on the programme that she wished she started to lose weight earlier.

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What happens inside when you’re overweight?

In short the human body really struggles when under constant pressure from having excess body weight to deal with. Fatty layers surround the vital organs causing them to struggle to operate efficiently. Whether it is your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver or digestive tract your body will show signs of fatigue and weakness. The programme shows these effects in graphic detail so if you are squeamish please watch from behind a sofa (and the BBC does make sure you are 16 years or older to be able to watch the programme). We’re all well aware of what an overweight body looks like from the outside; the rolls of fat, the cellulite, the large thighs and the big belly. Medical practitioners tell us that being overweight puts strain on our organs, puts us at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, liver disease, and even cancer. But what does this actually look like under our skin?

The Heart

The heart is a pump, and has to work harder to pump blood around a larger body. The heart is effectively a muscular bag, and as with any muscle, the harder it works, the larger it gets. The walls of the heart become thin and flabby, which can eventually lead to heart failure.


As the heart begins to fail, the fluid that is no longer being pumped around the body begins to collect in the lungs. This is pulmonary oedema. As an overweight person lies down to sleep, this excess fluid in the lungs can give the individual a sensation of drowning, causing them to wake multiple times per night. Medical practitioners often ask “How many pillows do you sleep with?”. This is a way of them gauging whether an overweight person has this problem.


We all associate the liver with alcohol, but did you know obesity is rapidly becoming the most common cause for fatty liver disease? The liver processes toxins from the body, and excess fat can be stored here too. In obese individuals, the liver enlarges, and becomes pitted and pale. After heart disease, liver failure is the most likely cause of death related to obesity.


Kidneys are always encased in a fatty capsule; even in a person of healthy weight. In an overweight person, this capsule is much thicker. High blood pressure associated with excessive weight damages the kidneys and can cause them to fail eventually. The lady in the programme is by no means unusually overweight. She is 60 years old, 5ft 6ins, and around 17 stone. She died from heart failure, related to obesity. This thought-provoking programme really brings home exactly what could be happening inside your body, or the body of somebody you love.  Don’t leave it too late to make the changes that could save your life – it’s not about dress size, or the next notch up on your belt – it’s what’s inside that really counts.