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The Starvation Experiment

During World War II, a group of conscientious objectors, anxious to do more in their service to the country, volunteered to be a part of Dr. Ancel Keys’ Starvation Experiment. As the war ground to a close, Dr. Keys felt there needed to be more data about starving people to guide the Allied relief assistance to famine victims in Europe and Asia, so they could be properly restored to health. He tested the volunteers on many occasions, as they slowly wasted away to near skeletons and found in almost all cases their idealistic dedication to serving humanity meant they were prepared to suffer. They would not cheat, no matter what the temptation! Their willingness to serve as human guinea pigs provided invaluable data, not only about starvation, but also about eating disorders.