Man Goes a Year Without Food


In June of 1965, a Scotsman weighing 450 pounds — described as “grossly obese” — turned up at the Dundee Royal Infirmary. He said he was sick of being fat and wanted to lose weight by eating nothing and living off his body fat. He told hospital staff that he was going to fast regardless of what they said, so they may as well monitor him along the way. The staff at the medical school at the University of Dundee kept a close eye on him. He didn't eat any food, but the staff gave him yeast for the first 10 months and multi-vitamins every day. Potassium is essential for the proper working of the heart, and when his potassium levels got a little low around the 100-day mark, he was given potassium tablets for about 70 days. He had infrequent bowel movements — roughly every 40 to 50 days. Blood samples were taken every two weeks, and surprisingly his blood glucose levels were consistently very low. He managed to drop 275 pounds by the end of his fast, and over the next five years only regained 15 pounds. Needless to say, doctors do not approve of this method of weight loss.