MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: How long can a human live without water and food

Date: Thu Sep 16 14:07:04 1999
Posted By: Jill Irvin, Staff, Food and Nutrition, Ohio State University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 937367126.Gb

A person can live without food for quite some time, usually for many weeks. 
The body will use its fat and protein stores (muscles) to help it survive. 
If a person has a lot of fat stores (is very heavy), they will live longer than a 
person who has very little fat (very thin), so how long a person can survive 
depends a lot of the person. Of course, if you go without food for a few weeks, 
you will be very weak since you have been using your own muscles for energy. 

Water is a different story. A person will die within 3-4 days without water. The 
size of the person really doesn't make much difference.

Thanks for the interesting question.

Jill Irvin
Ohio State University

source: Nutrition in Perspective, Patricia Kreutler, 1980


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