It seemed excessive at first but once you get used to it and see how easily you can obtain food and water, It's a nice challenge in my opinion. Maybe not realistic (All I had was a sub today, I would've been dead hours ago in WHF universe), but makes you actually put basic needs first rather than just questing and progressing story-wise and staying easily nurtured from what you find doing that.
On another note, Asherack said that it needs to be harder to get away from aggro muffs and I agree completely. I mean weak, disease-ridden wastrels may not keep up to you so easy but the bobbies have no excuse. I'll have an entire mob after me, turn a corner, look back, and there will only be one still chasing me. I thought I'd have a reason to be scared of the bobbies but the spankers are usually the only thing that gets in my way. ( I like underestimating them) I also agree with him about sneaking, it's not something you HAVE to utilize, rather, it's something you'll probably just use for fun and immersion.