To my observation, dupes do not die when they are starving if they are holding food that they are about to eat. However, if one restarts the game in this very moment, perhaps having forgotten the starving dupe, the dupe will instantly die after the save game has been reloaded.
The dupe in this case is marked as having died by starvation before the game is unpaused. I had no idea that this dupe for some reason had nutritional deficiency, which is quite an annoyance to return to after continuing a save game : /
- Starving dupe with food, about to eat (NOT eating)
- Reload game
- Dupe is dead upon load