Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 27–43 | Cite as

Dynamics of starvation in humans



A differential equation model describing the dynamics of stored energy in the form of fat mass, lean body mass and ketone body mass during prolonged starvation is developed. The parameters of the model are estimated using available data for 7 days into starvation. A simulation of energy stores for a normal individual with body mass index between 19 and 24 and an obese individual with body mass index over 30 are calculated. The length of time the obese subject can survive during prolonged starvation is estimated using the model.


Differential equations Starvation Ketone bodies Energy balance Mathematical model 

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)

92C30 92C40 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesMontclair State UniversityUpper MontclairNJUSA

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