That’s right. The weight loss has occurred during the glass box fast, a 44 days stunt, according to the press release from Queen Mary, University of London:
The medical team responsible for treating the magician David Blaine following his 44 day fast in a suspended glass box said he lost 24.5kg – 25 per cent of his original body weight – and his body-mass index (body weight divided by the square of height in metres) dropped from 29.0 to 21.6 in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine published today (24 November 2005.)
For the first three days Blaine underwent re-feeding with a liquid meal and oral vitamin and mineral supplements. Blaine’s metabolic status when he arrived at hospital immediately after the fast showed normal blood sugar levels but elevated levels of fatty acids, typical of long-term fasting.
He had vitamin B1 and B6 deficiency and these were replenished immediately after admission to hospital. Haemoconcentration was observed on the day Blaine was admitted and by day 10 there was a slight oedema.
His grossly elevated levels of vitamin B12 and high zinc and liver enzyme levels suggest liver function impairment, and he had low levels of insulin and very low levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, these changes are again characteristic findings in long-term starving.
He had very low levels of appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Blaine did not experience hunger for the first couple of days upon ending the fast but his appetite increased considerably immediately after an elevation in plasma levels of metabolic hormones orexin A and resistin.
The press release…