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YoKoolAid's avatar

In an apocalyptic movie, would it be an accurate depiction for survivors to appear skinny and losing hair?

Asked by YoKoolAid (2424points) February 5th, 2010

Assuming the apocalypse didn’t just happen that is. How difficult would it be to maintain a healthy body weight with limited food resources? Pick an apocalypse movie, they’re all kinda the same. Little or no food, hunting rats and coyotes…if the movie were 100% accurate would all the survivors be skinny and losing hair and all that comes along with malnourishment?

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8 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

I guess it depends on how far into the post apocalyptic world it was but I certainly imagine that some weight loss and hair loss might be the least of it if it was a nuclear attack. But not everyone. I would maintain my weight because I’m 6 2 and about 235. I would eat the skinny people.

TexasDude's avatar

The Road is pretty spot on when it comes to depicting starving survivors.

marinelife's avatar

Skinny, yes. Losing hair? Not necessarily at all.

filmfann's avatar

Losing hair is correct if you are talking radiation sickness. Might mix in yellowing eyes and losing teeth.

galileogirl's avatar

The Day After follows several people in Kansas and their difficulties in the few days after a non direct hit. When the nearby city is destroyed andthe infrastructure fails they become appropriatly disheveled for the timespan but there is not enough time for weight loss.

The movie Testament which takes place in the San Francisco suburbs lasts months. The people people are far enough away to escape immediate damage but begin to have symptoms from wind born radiation. This plus the failure of systems for power, water and food distribution are accurately depicted

Cruiser's avatar

Really depends on the apocalypse….A really big wipe out event means a whole lot less people and more food left for the survivors! With the few people left you may even need to then have a “Biggest Loser” followup they all would be so fat from eating everything in sight!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Slow starvation and radiation exposure in the 400+ rads range will cause those symptoms. Even with food available, high whole-body radiation exposure will affect the gastrointestinal system. At this point, you are in the LD 50/30 range ( 50% mortality within 30 days). Without massive medical intervention, these people are “dead” from a triage standpoint.

I seldom watch films any more, the current ones I’m unfamiliar with. “The Day After” is a fairly accurate depiction. Pat Frank’s book “Alas Babylon” is also reasonably accurate (although he overestimates the effects of neutron activation). I haven’t seen “Testament” but I’ll take @galileogirl s interpretation as far as effect on infrastructure in suburban areas is concerned. The worst place you can be is in a suburb totally dependant on products brought in from elsewhere.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

It probably depends on the nature of the “apocalypse.” If it’s a nuclear holocaust, then both weight and hair loss would be reasonable, especially if it’s a few months after the disaster. If it’s a plague, then I can imagine the survivors might be skinny if they had to forage for food, but the hair loss wouldn’t make sense. If it’s a zombie attack, then it’s anyone’s guess. :-)

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