How slowly would an obese man starve to death?

How much more time would it take for a morbidly obese person to starve to death than a person of normal weight?

Say you have a person with 200 pounds of body fat and a person with 20 pounds of body fat in the same death camp. Would the big guy last 10 times longer?

Barring unusual circumstances, I don’t think there would be that much difference. Even though the obese person would have a significant advantage in terms of simple caloric fuel, I don’t know that the body could convert the fat to usable materials quickly enough in the absence of other catalysts and whatnot. Plus, he would still die of malnutrition due to lack of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can’t be stored in fat.

WAG, but probably around the same time. The shock of not eating might do the very obese person in.

Are we positing that he is on a nutritionally balanced but calorically inadequate diet or are we positing that he is being forced to fast?

forced to fast. No food at all.

Here is an interesting article about the whaleship Essex.
If you get a chance to read the book, do it.
If Ridley Scott is reading this, please make this into a movie.
The interesting thing is that the shiphands died first. They were fitter but had less stored fat. The captain and such lasted the longest. The article doesn’t mention exact dates.
This is not straight starvation as they ended up eating their crewmates.
Here is more information on this ship.

The question is very hard to answer because there are so many confounding factors, but there is no doubt that a fat person will starve to death much more slowly. That is why mammals store fat. It certainly won’t be a 10 times more slowly because being 10 times as heavy doesn’t mean 10 times more fat. added to that the whole process follows an asymptoic curve so the difference will only exist in the early stages, IOW a fat person will shed huge amount of weight fast for the first few weeks and then the reposnses of the two individuals will move closer together. As semi-eductaed guess would be that a morbidly obese person might last two weeks longer than anyone else.

Solkoe’s refrence gives some indicationof why this sort of thing is so complciated and difficult to predict in relaity. No only would the shiphands have had less fat, they would also have had more muscle. Muscle uses a lot of energy just for mainatanance, so even if the shiphands and the captian had been carrying exactly the same amount of fat the captain would still have died later because he didn’t have all that muscle to maintain. However a morbidly obese person will also very likley be carrying a lot of muscle just to move the bulk around, so that introduces a second problem with tryong to do any sort of meaningful comparison.

As Mr. Slant has alluded to, nobody has ever actually starved to death. Insstead peopel succumb to disease or exposure as a result of physiological problems caused by starvation. When there is a total lack of any nutrients on the diet that effect is accelarated, so a person could well succumb to an infection long before they die from a lack of energy. Since the morbidly obese are likely more prone to infections anyway they may actually die sooner than anyone else in atsravation situation.

The we have to the confounding factor of exposure. Fat people have less surface area which means that they are much more energy efficient in the cold but much less efficinet in hot condirions. So the temeprature that your people are living at and the clioteh sand shelter they have is going to have a large effect on the outcome.

And those are just some of the variables you would need to control for to get any menaingful answer. So I doubt you’re going to get solid figures on how much more slowly people starve, but fat people will generally die later.