Physical and Behavioral Responses to Starvation and Famine in Warsaw Ghetto versus the West African Sahel

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Physical and Behavioral Responses to Starvation and Famine in Two Populations Introduction Famine is an event in which food and resources are inaccessible and the majority of a population is endangered (Shipton, 1990). When applied to starvation this definition is accurate with one additional idea: starvation is the result of inaccessibility to resources. Many factors contribute to the progression of famine and the resulting starvation. One of the key factors to consider is the delineation between naturally occurring and man-made starvation and famine. Naturally occurring famine is the result of agricultural or environmental causes such as lack of rainfall or poor soil conditions. Man-made famine is the deliberate denial of food to people “with the aim of starving them into submission” (De Waal 1991:77). Man-made famine and the resulting starvation will be the basis for this paper. The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the physical and behavioral responses to starvation and famine in residents of the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi occupation and the citizens of famine-prone areas of the West African Sahel region. The location of the two regions discussed can be found on the maps (Figure 1 and Figure 2) at the end of this paper. The connections and contrasts of the two populations will be demonstrated through review and presentation of models from literature, a brief background on the populations to be discussed, examples of the populations as they fit the models and a brief discussion of limitations and opportunity for further study. Literature Review: Physical and Behavioral Response Models Physical Response The comparison between the Warsaw Ghetto and the West African Sahel region can best be exa... ... middle of paper ... ...ntainer Institute, United States Army. Tushnet L. 1966. The uses of adversity. South Brunswick, New Jersey: Thomas Yoseloff. Page 18 17 Watts M. 1991. Entitlements or empowerment? famine and starvation in Africa. Review of African Political Economy, 51:9-26. Whitney, E. and Rady Rolfes S. 2005. Understanding nutrition, 10 th ed. Belmont, California: Thomson Wadsworth. WHO. Health conditions aggravate southern Africa famine. (August 4, 2002); http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/who63/en/. Page 19 18 Figure 1. Map of Warsaw, Poland and location of the Warsaw Ghetto. Britannica Student Encyclopedia: Warsaw." 2008. (March 2, 2008); http://www.student.britannica.com/eb/art-55185/Warsaw-Poland. Page 20 19 Figure 2. Map of Sudan, Ethiopia and the West African Sahel Region. Adapted from: http://z.about.com/d/worldnews/1/7/U/1/-/-/sudan_map.jpg.

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