Weight cycling in female rats subjected to varying meal patterns

Academic Article


  • The effect of weight cycling on energy balance was examined in female rats. Two groups of adult female rats were subjected to three bouts of weight cycling, each bout consisting of 8 days of food restriction (9 g/day or ~50% of usual intake) followed by 16 days of refeeding. During refeeding animals were given 22.8 g/day of food so that they were offered, during the 24-day cycle, the same amount of food offered to control rats that were not subjected to weight cycling. One group of weight-cycled rats (gorgers) was given its daily intake in a few large meals (i.e., allowed to gorge). The other weight-cycled group (nibblers) was fed by automated feeders in several small meals during each 24-h period (i.e., prevented from gorging). Neither weight-cycled group displayed an increased food efficiency or an increased body fatness compared with noncycled controls. Weight-cycled rats allowed to gorge did have an increased food efficiency and a greater carcass energy content compared with weight-cycled rats not allowed to gorge. These results suggest a pattern of gorging promoted food efficiency and body energy gain compared with a pattern of nibbling, but gorging during refeeding cannot account for reports of increased food efficiency in weight-cycled rats.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wheeler J; Martin R; Lin D; Yakubu F; Hill JO
  • Volume

  • 258
  • Issue

  • 1 27-1