In 1945, a voluntary starvation experiment conducted in the United States

HISTORY OF MEDICINE – Scientists wanted to know how Europeans, after years of war, were affected by food deprivation. The results were final.

On February 12, 1945, 36 young Americans in great shape sat down in a room at the University of Minnesota. On the menu: a small bowl of porridge, two slices of toast, fried potatoes, jelly, a little jam and a small glass of milk. They begin six months of a drastic diet. Objective: to make them lose 25% of their weight. If they don’t lose enough weight, we cut out bread; if they exceed the target, we add more. And they are volunteers…

«Are you going to starve yourselves so that they are better fed?a pamphlet circulated by Dr. Ancel Keys, professor of physiology at the University of Minnesota and consultant to the War Department, asked them a few months earlier. The doctor has developed the combat ration for the Allied troops who are going to liberate Europe. He wants to know how the inhabitants of these territories bloodless after years of war are affected by months of food deprivation, and how to help them.

Starve volunteers

He then offers a…

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