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Minnesota starvation study eating disorder

Microblog: Why Dieting Makes Us All Susceptible to Disordered Eating (Part 1/3)

Minnesota starvation study eating disorder

If you’re struggling with disordered eating, you’re not alone.⠀

👨‍🔬The MN Starvation Study shares the impact of food restriction and the psychology of hunger.⠀

🏋🏻‍♂️After WWII, researchers recruited 36 young, males, confirmed to be physically and mentally strong.

❌They had no signs of eating disorders or negative relationships with food.⠀

⏰After 12 weeks of varied diets (3200 calories/day), the calories were cut to 1570 during the semi-starvation phase of the study (6 months).

❗️1570 calories. That’s less than what many people eat today.

📖The study had a restricted rehabilitation period of 3 months of 2000-3200 calories a day and then a period of no limits on caloric intake.⠀

🔬They then measured the physiological and psychological effects on the participants.⠀

❓What did they find?⠀

🤚🏼Remember, these men were considered to be physically and mentally strong.⠀

1️⃣Food Obsession⠀
The men began to fantasize about food. The conversations revolved around food and recipes. They would daydream about high-fat foods that they missed. If mealtimes were changed, they showed agitation. They reported finding pleasure in smelling food and seeing others eat food.

The men would discuss politics and current events before the starvation phase. Once the starvation phase began, the conversations shifted to food obsessive discussions. Many became irritable and withdrawn.⠀

🧠A significant increase in obsessive thinking and anxiety was displayed.⠀

Signs of overeating became common.

🥕Although the men were only fed cafeteria-quality foods (potatoes, root vegetables, bread and macaroni), the men would try to extend their eating experiences as long as possible, not wanting the pleasure of eating to end.

🤢If they had access to food, the participants would binge, consuming 1000s of calories in one sitting.

They also had unlimited access to coffee and gum.

❓How many of our behaviors and diets are similar to these men?

☕️Many of us live off stimulants (sugar is a stimulant, too) and gum to suppress hunger.

❓How many of us lose weight but still obsess over food? (E.g, chefs?)


Nutrition with Judy

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