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The University of Minnesota was home to the Minnesota Starvation Experiment during World War II, which studied the effects of starvation on the human mind and body. Thirty-six volunteers participated in the experiment lasting from 1944 to 1945. The aim was to provide insight to relief workers in famine-stricken regions.
The study found that starvation led to severe mental and physical side effects, including the development of disordered thoughts and behaviors surrounding food. This has since been used by eating disorder professionals to better understand this relationship and the importance of weight restoration in treatment.