My Reaction to BBC III’s Obesity: The Post Mortem and Why Everyone Should Watch It

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

I first viewed this documentary in late 2019 and have revisited it several times since. That’s right. I have forced myself to essentially watch an autopsy multiple times—and I’m very squeamish! Even though it is difficult to view, I think everyone should watch this video. In middle school, we were taught about the Holocaust and even visited the Museum of Tolerance. Life’s cruel truths are best laid bare completely unobstructed, regardless of how ugly the truth really is. In New Zealand, the police leave wrecked cars on the side of the highway to remind people to slow down. Sometimes, you need to see what the consequences of your actions will be if you keep making the same choices. 

The autopsy technician and medical examiner conduct a full autopsy of a severely obese woman with the full reverence the occasion deserved. I have so much admiration for the anonymous American patient that donated her body to science so that this presentation could be made. I thought bearing your soul to the internet was intrusive! Having the whole world view your insides for the sake of public health is remarkably selfless. I don’t know if I could ever do something so fearless as this woman. As a formerly obese person, I would not dream in my worst nightmares of anyone seeing me naked—alive or dead. 

Not only was this woman’s body laid bare for all to see, she was basically eviscerated before my eyes. I was transfixed with a morbid fascination as each bloc of organs was removed. As the autopsy progressed, you could see how obesity has ravaged this poor woman’s internal organs. Most notably, her abdomen had 6 inches of fat that the technician had to cut through to get to her organs because this woman’s fat was almost exclusively stored in her abdomen. Almost all of her organs were overcome with the yellow, insidious mess. Inside out, it is difficult to deny how deadly obesity can be. 

My heart sank because I immediately felt the gravity of the harm I’ve been doing to my body. On a day to day basis, you might not feel any ill effects of your actions. This documentary showed me what a lifetime of obesity can do to your heart and other internal organs and it’s not pretty. Whenever I start to get complacent with my weight loss efforts, I find this documentary online and watch it again. I confront myself with the consequences of my behavior to try to slap myself back into reality. Complacency kills.

Like most important and graphic realities, please take into account your mental health before viewing these types of videos and honestly assess if you can handle this kind of content. This documentary is very graphic—it’s literally a woman being cut open for science. If you are interested in physiology, this documentary would probably be worth viewing if you aren’t too squeamish. If you need more information of the health consequences of obesity without the gore, please follow this link.

Please like, comment, and share with those you care about. 

Remember, always be kind to yourself and keep moving forward!

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