BBC3, the digital video platform of the UK pubcaster, has commissioned Seven Network Australia-backed indie 7 Wonder and Belfast-based prodco Third Street to medically investigate the impact of obesity on the human body.
Obesity: The Post Mortem (pictured) will follow leading pathologist Dr. Mike Osborn and assistant pathology technician Carla Valentine as they perform an autopsy on a female donor who weight nearly 240 pounds.
The hour-long documentary will look to examine first-hand the damage that excess fat can cause to vital organs.
“Obesity is very much there, it’s seen, but I think it is very poorly understood,” said Osborn in a statement. “It seemed that making this film would be a way of exploring that and allowing a broader public to learn about the problems associated with obesity.”
The film allows viewers to follow the body as it is transported from Long Beach, California to the post-mortem lab in London. It also features commentary from young people clinically categorized as obese to learn how biology, psychology and food have contributed to their weight issues.
Most commonly caused by excessive food intake, lack of physical activity or genetic susceptibility, an individual is considered obese when his or her body mass index – a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height – is 20% higher than what is medically considered to be healthy. Obesity is closely linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer and osteoarthritis.
“One of our missions at the BBC is to educate through our factual programming and we’ve addressed this serious subject matter with great care,” said Joanna Carr, BBC’s head of current affairs, in the statement.