do fat people have more blood?

Do fat people have more blood?

Wondering if obesity has anything to do with blood volume and whether fat people have more blood?

Yes, obese people do have more blood than a lean person. More cells need more blood, hence the increased blood volume. There’s more to this simple answer. Read on! 

There is a clear link between obesity and high blood pressure [1]. High blood pressure may be caused due to cholesterol or due to extra work, the heart has to do to pump more volume of blood. Although more data is needed to understand what is the most common cause of hypertension in the obese – increased blood volume or cholesterol.

There are several factors that the blood volume depends on.

  1. Increased nutrition needs

Muscle tissues have a greater need for nutrition-rich blood than fat cells that do nothing all day except survive.

The vascular system is more developed for active people. Someone who works out requires better-developed blood supply to muscles and tissues than a person with abundant adipose tissue (fat cells) that doesn’t have as much nutritional requirements as muscle.

It’s likely for a person with active lifestyle to have more blood volume than an obese person.

  1. Lifestyle

Not all obese people have a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle but many do. If the lifestyle of an obese person is unhealthy and does not provide adequate nutrition, they are likely to have lesser blood volume than an average healthy and lean person.

  1. Adipose tissue (fat tissues) increases sodium and water retention, which also results in increased volume of blood.

To meet the needs of increased blood volume, more veins and arteries are made.

So do obese people really have more blood?

Yes. The answer is simple – the higher the needs of the body, the higher is the supply (nutrition supplying blood). The average blood volume in a human adult is 70 ml per kg. With an increase in the nutrition needs of the body, more blood is needed and produced. 

Blood carries essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, energy, and oxygen. The increased number of cells need more blood to meet their needs.

If one does not have sufficient blood volume, the body would need faster blood flow which would make the heart beat faster.

However, it is not really the amount of blood that matters, but blood volume per weight. The blood volume depends on factors such as- the lifestyle of the person, the amount of muscle tissue in the person. Sex and age of the person also play an important role.

References:

  1. OAC: Hypertension and Obesity: How Weight-loss Affects Hypertension
  2. Medscape: The effects of obesity on cardiopulmonary system

Leave a comment