A Facebook friend was concerned by this report

Don’t get pierced! Body piercings can raise cortisol levels and lead to fat gain, and no site is as susceptible to fat gain as your abs! If you have a navel piercing, remove it and chances are you’ll lose fat in the abdominal area. I’ve seen it numerous times, and anyone who has been to my Biosignature classes has probably had the benefit of witnessing the dramatic drop in belly and total body fat over just five days when attendees remove their navel piercings.

The justifications include some pretty abysmal references, relying on acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, but there are are a few sources in there that look legitimate.

Is there any experimental evidence to suggest that a (typical) body piercing may lead to fat gain?


1 Answer 1


In 2003 a review of the risks of body piercing was produced by a European Commission Joint Research Centre.

While they reviewed the literature, and list a number of health risks involved with body-piercings, there is no mention of fat, obesity or weight-gain.

I conclude this is "evidence of absence" of studies showing that weight-gain is a risk.

Note: I found the report to be less convincing than, say, a Cochrane Collaboration review. They didn't take the effort to demonstrate their search methods were exhaustive and clear from bias. Nonetheless, it was described as a "competent review" by the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products Intended for Consumers, so I have accepted it.

  • If the claim states that something is backed by science and a PubMed search does not return results, it's certainly a positive debunk of the claim. You could document that.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Sklivvz: I considered this more pertinent, because it shows that experts in the field did the appropriate literature search (with hopefully a lot more scrutiny than the inexpert five minutes I would spend), and found nothing worth mentioning.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .