Minnesota starvation study eating disorder

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

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.

2️⃣Mood⠀
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 Many became irritable and withdrawn.⠀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.⠀

3️⃣Overeating
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?)

MORE TO COME.

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