top of page

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment

Ever wonder what restriction is doing to your brain? 🧠 Why you always feel ‘out of control?’ Why you long to be a ‘normal eater’ who doesn’t binge continuously?

I have 🙋🏼‍♀️ And thanks to the help of some amazing friends, I have been put back onto a path of self discovery, self healing and self growth 🙌🏼 Reading research documents, blogs and a million and one articles on the subject 📚

📝One of the most fascinating research articles I’ve read is the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, an experiment designed and conducted towards the end of World War II to determine the physiological and psychological effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction (famine/starvation) and the effectiveness of dietary rehabilitation strategies 🤓

In 1950 the results were documented in a two volume, 1385 page text entitled ‘The Biology of Human Starvation’ 📕📗

📰36 healthy and mentally stable men volunteered for the experiment where they would go through a 12 week control period on 3200 calories and then reduce their calorie intake to just over 1500 calories for 24 weeks.

📉The results from the study showed that prolonged semi starvation produces significant increases in depression and hysteria.

😭Most of the subjects experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression.

🍔Participants exhibited a preoccupation with food, both during the starvation (sneaking out of the facility to cheat🙈) and rehabilitation phase (eating 11,500+ in a day).

☕️The men would eat up to 40 packs of chewing gum and drink up to 15 cups of coffee a day (these two items were unlimited)

🍆Sexual interest was drastically reduced.

🙅🏼‍♀️The men showed signs of withdrawal and isolation.

🤯They also reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgement capabilities (one man chopping off three of his fingers with an axe 😱 And another having dreams of cannibalism)

♥️Physiological Results Showed the men’s heart rates reduced from 55 to 35, their bowel movements reduced to once a week, their blood volume decreased 10% and their hearts shrank in size.

👂🏼👀The results showed a heightened sense of hearing and the white in the men’s eyes looked white as porcelain as the blood vessels in their eyes shrank.

⬇️Even though most of the men lost 25% of their body weight they began thinking they looked fat and started critiquing the physiques of the other men! (Not even kidding 🙈)

📢What does this sound like to you? What do you think your chronic dieting and restricting is doing to your brain?

Eating enough food for your body IS important! Knowing that you CAN have that dessert IS important!

If you have developed bad habits that you are desperately trying to change, there is lots of help out there!! TRUST ME!!! Their is exhaustive science on emotional eating vs binge eating and knowing/understanding the difference.

Study References:

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow KSS
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
bottom of page