i call myself cassandra in my head (shinygobonkers) wrote in ed_ucate,
i call myself cassandra in my head

Warsaw Ghetto Starvation Study

I ran into this and found it fascinating, so I thought I'd share.

Basically, Jewish doctors in a hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto undertook a study of the effects of prologued starvation in adults and children. Due to their situation they had a large pool of subjects, able to perform a lot of autopsies to confirm their findings, etc. The study ended in 1943 with the liquidation of the ghetto; most of the doctors involved were killed/deported to Treblinka. The study was smuggled out though and published in 1946. I can only post links since the study is in pdf format but,

http://www.tushnet.com/leonard/uses6.pdf describes the actual research, detailing the effects of starvations physiologically and psychologically

http://www.tushnet.com/leonard/uses8.pdf is an evaluation of the study, including comparison to the Minnesota study and other studies of starvation.

I thought it was interesting/worth reading in the sense of...such studies are rare for the obvious ethical reasons. Relevant because the body's starvation reaction is basically the same for anorectics/eating disordered people at low weights, but here it's more described as...an adaptive mechanism of the body to try to stay alive rather then 'damnit my metabolism sucks now I can't lose weight!' Also clarified for me at least why there can be problems with refeeding after severe emaciation etc. The calories consumed are also interesting to note, particularly in context of comparison with what eating disordered individuals/anorectics consume.

I will note it may be somewhat disturbing/triggering...so...use discretion I suppose?

Hope this is useful/interesting to someone :0

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