Do your tongue get fat?

O.k. this one came up at lunch:

We were talking about obstructive sleep apnea, the condition where (generally) fat people with intense snoring problems literally block their own air passages when they relax and fall asleep due to all their own excessive weight forcing the bronchi closed.

Then someone suggested maybe even the tongue gets fat in the morbidly obese and slides back in the throat, causing blockage problems as well, which is the REAL question here. If you get fat, does your TONGUE gain weight too, or it one of those things like your eyes, ears, etc. that stay the same (or about the same) weight as your waistline expands?

Damn FAT finger. The topic was supposed to say DOES your tongue get fat. Sorry about the ebonics.


oh, do your tongue get fat,
do it wobble to and fro
can you tie it in a know
can you tie it in a bow?

I don’t knot.

Yer pal,

This site mentions a “large, hypopharyngeal tongue mass.”

Quand les talons claquent, l’esprit se vide.
Maréchal Lyautey

I don’t think your tongue gets fat even if you are morbidly obese. Most body fat is in a separate layer, outside the musclulature and inside the skin. The tongue doesn’t have that layer.

AFAIK, apnea results from increased weight on the throat (i.e. fat) and reduced muscle tension in the throat muscles, which is at least partly attributable to age.

I took a sleep apnea test once. Turns out I don’t have apnea, I just snore. The doctor said the best way to fix it was to lose weight. I did. He was right, when I lost weight I snored a lot less. And I didn’t do any throat strengthening exercises. (My tongue didn’t get any skinnier, either.)

Second best was surgery to make the back of your throat wider – but they won’t do the surgery unless they determine you don’t have apnea. Otherwise your just masking the symptoms of a serious medical problem.

They usually treat apnea with a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Air Pressure). You wear it over your nose and it provides just enough pressure to keep your throat open. You have to sleep wearing what looks like scuba gear but, from what I’ve heard, it really works.

“If ignorance were corn flakes, you’d be General Mills.”
Cecil Adams
The Straight Dope

I thought this post was for a new Cajun song. Damn!
<img src=“” alt=“Love that Cajun!”>
<img src=“” alt=“Love that Cajun!”>

I’m only your wildest fear, from the corners of your darkest thoughts.

Certainly cows have fat in their tongues. Just go to a delicatessen some time. I’m certain that ours do as well.