Earlier today I found myself in deep thought. No, it wasn’t about work (LOL). And no, it wasn’t even about this site (which is rare). It was this:
In the event that food ran out… Would fat people die of starvation first – or would thin people?
(Quick Note: in this scenario, both the fatso and skinny betch would have to exert the same amount of energy to live and like gather food or whatever… but they’d have water, just no food.)
Why this shit comes up in my brain you ask? Well, WAY too often my brain thinks of the scenario where the world goes to shit and people had to fend for themselves – like hunt for their own food and grow their own crops (both of which I feel confident in myself of doing #sickbrag). But I’m also not an idiot – I’d know there’d be periods of time where there would be little to no food… And I’m a skinny mother fucker, so YEAH, I’m shaking in my boots.
Here’s my take on the topic before we get to some hard hitting facts…
I understand the whole “fat contains more energy than muscle” thing – so in theory this would be an open-and-shut case: An obese person would live forever… but then I was like, no fucking way because those people die quicker under normal conditions than their thinner counterparts. Why? I don’t know, maybe their bodies are constantly working so hard since they have a tremendous amount of weight on them and they burn energy like crazy just trying to live (and oh btw the constraint they’re putting on their heart).
Another reason I figured skinny people may have a shot at living longer would be that their bodies already don’t require as much calories to live, so aren’t they trained moreso to survive without as many calories? Maybe that’s retarded, I don’t know. But I don’t get nearly as hungry as some people in my office if I miss lunch… I’m skinny, they aren’t (some of them). So in the event we’re staving, I feel like they’d bitch in the first 45 minutes without eating and I’d be sitting pretty.
Now, most times I’d put this sort of thought to rest but since I have a PhD in Exercise Physiology at my beck and call – I dug deeper. I posed the scenario to the doctor (who we’ll leave anonymous). Here was the response:
Though the fat guy weighs more than the lean one, fat(adipose) tissue is metabolically inactive. Excess fat literally is a stored energy supply and does not require much maintenance…….you just put it in the warehouse and let it sit there until needed. Just as important is how much muscle there is under the fat. Your muscle tissue (voluntary and involuntary) and your organs need the energy. We’ll talk about the “organ” later. If the two individuals have the same amount of muscle the fat guy will last longer. If the fat guy has less muscle than the lean one, the difference will be even greater because there is even less metabolically active tissue to support and stored energy will last even longer. Yes, the fat guy will have a heart that works somewhat harder, but he probably also has a lower metabolic rate because he has spent most of his life on his arse and his body doesn’t ask for much fuel. Fat bears can hibernate a long time. Lean bears can’t.
So, I guess if you are fat but have muscle, you’ll survive longer because you need the stored energy in fat. And even if you are shredded with no fat, you’re fucked because you have no energy to tap into.
I really enjoy the explanation of bears hibernating… The doctor knew I’d need this explained to me like I was a 7-year old – and he/she was absolutely right.
Amazing stuff from the PhD. I’d really like to work them into more stuff, get “science” involved to help solve the mysteries floating around my idiot brain.
Moral of this post? Beef up if you’re expecting the apocalypse. Fat bears can hibernate a long time!
One More Mystery Solved,