This is a study of psychological, physiological, and biochemical variables associated with starvation. Although laboratory experiments on rats27-30 indicate that these animals respond to acute starvation with adrenalcortical activation, there is reason to question whether this occurs in humans and other animals. Keys10 reports that starving man has a low metabolic rate, bradycardia, hypotension, hypothermia, and great muscular weakness. A starving man typically states he is depressed and his facies suggest depression more than emaciation. He becomes increasingly quiet, somber, apathetic, and slow in motion. Although he reports increasing irritability, there is little overt indication of it. The starving man conserves energy in every possible way. Severe neurotic symptoms developed in the Minnesota Experiment11 in which 35 "normal" young men were starved. There was a full return to normal on nutritional rehabilitation. In the Minnesota Experiment neither
KOLLAR EJ, SLATER GR, PALMER JO, DOCTER RF, MANDELL AJ. Measurement of Stress in Fasting Man: A Pilot Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(2):113–125. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720260007002
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