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In 2011, It was recorded that one in seven people had a severe lack of nourishments. Hunger is a relatable phenomenon – that has been experienced by all, at least once in their lifetime. However more severe forms of hunger can last over longer periods of time – months and years. Throughout time, starvation has been a major health risk due to numerous reasons. During the journeys in the Odyssey, Odysseus and his shipmates perpetually encountered a need for food and water and would be starved for what felt like eternities. Despite the fact, the human body adapts to the change of diet when not eating or drinking, it affects how the body exists. The availability and abundance of water and food is commonly taken for granted by many people; yet, for others they are not nearly as fortunate as it is a privilege rather than a normal resource used in their everyday life.
The effects of starvation make people willing to neglect their moral behavior to cure the craving. At one point in the Odyssey, starvation became unbearable, creating more crises. When the crew were in the cattle of the sun, Eurylochus was so driven by his hunger he persuaded his fellow shipmates to help him steal food. Eventually the crew members agreed and betrayed the trust of Odysseus. Once Odysseus discovered they disobeyed him, he objects “You’ve no notion of the chaos you’ve caused,” (Odyssey 175). It implies that individuals are willing to risk their position and change their values irrationally, still a relevant issue nowadays. In the end the group’s verdict ended with death.
The passing away of the crew can be symbolized as life without water and food, slowly changes parts of who you were before. Hunger prevents people from fully functioning and this has a dangerous impact on their well-being. Even though elements of the story, such as the food remaining alive, differs from the present time, the main idea stays appropriate. First hand personal observations claim that they felt sick, pain, faintness and nauseous, when starved for a while. The online source titled ‘Physical Complications of Eating Disorders’ indicates what starvation does and points out “Thinking is slowed, concentration is impaired, and the focus of thinking becomes very restricted. ” The facts describe in detail what happens to your mental and physical being. More symptoms of starving are a loss of focus, dizziness, weakness, low energy; many negative implications from the Odysseus crew that had to be dealt with, while trying to return home safely. Each crew member faced these symptoms and coped with it differently.
For example, Odysseus maintained his strength and self-control, while Eurylochus and the others acted out and were irrational. There is no predominant reason for starvation as there is a variety of factors that can lead to the question on why someone could be starving. The less wealthy may not receive meals and have no other choice other than to be left empty. Potentially, this results in major health risks and, therefore, with the easier option of stealing to gain resources. Unfortunately, anorexia is another focal contribution to starvation in contemporary society. Those who have easier access to food and water might refrain from food and starve themselves, therefore, developing eating disorders. In the past anorexia was not an immense problem for the wealthy, as it was admired to weigh more since this expressed you were rich enough to purchase food. The evidence in the article ‘Anatomy of Hunger’ states “Close to one billion people do not have enough to eat,” (Page 1), and this proves how widespread and significant the issue is. Therefore, the problem of starvation – controlled life in the voyage in the Odyssey, and changed actions and thoughts of those who suffered from it, such as Eurylochus and Elpenos. In an unhealthy attempt to lose weight some people try to starve themselves; however, experts believe diets make you hungrier due to how your body functions. This signifies the importance of what happened to Odysseus and his team and why it was so influential on their choices. As described in the Encyclopedia starvation is defined as “. . . result of a severe or total lack of nutrients needed for the maintenance of life,” this can come from not consuming a balanced diet. Going without food for a few days can lead to emotional distress in the beginning. Some argue that after adjusting to the change in the intake of food, they feel normal this is insinuated by new information showing that short term fasts don’t have negative permanent consequences.
Starvation caused by diets, such as Ramadan, a month-long diet for faith without food from dusk to dawn for Muslims, whom are healthy enough to participate, is an example of a safe time to restrict food. This supports the claim that starvation blurs your core beliefs, but only after a prolonged duration. Bringing attention to starvation and its harmful effects in the past and present reveal how important the topic is. In addition, spreading knowledge about it educates the public on the critical risks preventing more damage. Society now is more aware of the outcome of starvation compared to during the time of the Odyssey, where they were oblivious to how bad the circumstances truly were. Physical and mental hunger has a threatening strain on health.
The medical aspects of starvation are a cause of losing who you were before, psychologically and bodily. It is debatable whether you still have complete power over yourself or not; personally, I agree that you don’t because research and symptoms demonstrate otherwise. Overall, starvation is a risk that adversely effects your life significantly.
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