Sunday, August 5, 2012

How Long Can You Live on 700 Calories?

If someone had an eating disorder. Say a female, 5'5 and 18 years old. How long could they live on 700 calories a day ? If they didn't do extreme exercises. And started out at a normal weight of 125. How long before they died ?  Mindy D.

Hi Mindy,

I sincerely hope you aren't asking this because you are suffering from an eating disorder yourself.
People with eating disorders can live for quite a number of years. The body has a lot of defense mechanisms. Theoretically, a person's metabolism will slow and get used to the 700 calories that are available each day. Weight loss will slow, and maybe even stop when the woman gets under 100 pounds.

The issue equally important is that when eating 700 calories it's not possible to get all the nutrients needed. Without enough protein, the vital organs will eventually shrink in size and capacity. Often, death results from heart failure or kidney failure since the shriveled organs are no longer able to carry out their essential functions. The studies we've seen on this came from starving Jews in the Warsaw ghetto in the second world war (Publicized years later when one of the doctor's wife found the notes, the findings were published as "The Hunger Disease"). The enemy prevented food from getting into the city, and people gradually starved to death. Research was conducted by the doctors living there, such as weighing the organs at the time of death and realizing how small the hearts had become in the bodies of the dead.

Others, like Karen Carpenter (a famous singer in the 1970s), died of a heart attack thought to be caused by a deficiency of potassium (possibly from laxative abuse). Without essential electrolytes in the blood--which come from minerals in the diet--there is danger of halting neurotransmissions, one of which is the signal to the heart to beat.

Along the way, undesirable symptoms arise from other vitamin and mineral deficiencies--rashes, thinning hair, brittle nails, weak bones, anemia, and other conditions that keep life unpleasant to say the least.

It's a terrible, drawn out way to die.
If you are looking for help for yourself or for a friend I would gladly help you get in touch with professionals in your area who can provide the necessary support.


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