Food is something we need for energy, and to allow the body to function properly. Food and water are the two things a human needs to survive. Previously, we’ve looked at what would happen if you stopped drinking water, but now, let’s look at how long you could survive without food.
Due to the nature of the topic, there isn’t much scientific proof or evidence about starvation. However, there are more cases of people being forced to starve or choosing to starve which will help us determine the answer to this question.
One of the most famous cases of deliberate starvation is Mahatma Gandhi. He went on a 21-day hunger strike choosing to only sip water for the duration of the strike. After the 21 days, he was still alive. What was surprising was the fact that he had a very low BMI (Body Mass Index) when he started, meaning that he didn’t have a lot of energy in reserve to help him in the long run. As well as this hunger strike, it has been said that he carried out thirteen further hunger strikes throughout his life.
Humans can surprisingly last between 30-40 days without eating any food as long as they are consuming the correct amount of water. The main symptoms of not eating tend to occur between the 35th and the 40th day. This is all dependent on what your body mass is like. The more fat that you have in reserve means the higher your chances of survival. Symptoms leading up to the point where you eventually perish would include, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin, brittle nails, intolerance of cold, and a thin appearance.
The way most people die whilst in the process of starvation is by their organs failing. When their body mass reaches the point of 12.5kg death occurs more often than not.
Giving up food is something that is very dangerous and could put your health at risk. Many people talk about the health implications of eating too much, but we also need to be concerned about the flip side of this!