Every single victim of diet culture needs to read about The Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
Of course, the reading comes with content warnings including calorie counting, weight loss, and starvation. Plus, the study was brutal, not to mention unethical and disturbing.
That being said, many of today’s diets and weight loss programs recommend caloric intake in the starvation range.
Anecdotally, I tried living on 1,500 calories a day, and I was fucking miserable. I binged something fierce when I couldn’t take it anymore, and I considered myself a failure. That’s how badly diet culture fucks with your head.
On to the resources . . .
I’ve picked three sources for the sake of varied perspectives and credibility:
- “The Minnesota Starvation Experiment – Studying the Studies” by Ragen Chastain . . . which includes this actual phrase, “injections made from the urine of pregnant horses.” Chastain is a fat activist.
- “They Starved So That Others Be Better Fed: Remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota Experiment” by Leah M. Kalm and Richard D. Semba, who point out how the experiment’s participants were conscientious objectors of World War II. This was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
- Minnesota Starvation Experiment from Wikipedia . . . for the sake of ease