Effects of weight cycling induced by diet cycling in rats differing in susceptibility to dietary obesity

Academic Article


  • Objective: Although the majority of evidence in rodents does not support the view that weight cycling (consisting of bouts of food restriction and refeeding) promotes obesity, the effects of weight cycling on body weight regulation remain controversial. We have previously demonstrated that some rats within a strain are more susceptible to develop obesity than others when given free access to a high-fat diet. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that rats most susceptible to weight gain on a high-fat diet would also be most susceptible to weight gain as a consequence of weight cycling. Research Methods and Procedures: Rats were provided a low-fat diet (12% corn oil) for 2 weeks, then given a high-fat diet (45% corn oil) for 2 weeks to identify those most (obesity prone) and least (obesity resistant) susceptible to weight gain. Half of each group was then subjected to three 30-day cycles of food restriction (10 days) and refeeding (20 days) [weight cycler (WC) rats]. The other half were allowed free access to the high-fat diet [control (CO) rats]. All rats were then followed for an additional 10 weeks, with free access to the high-fat diet. Results: When considering the entire 160 days of the study, we found no evidence that WC rats relative to CO rats had increased body weight, increased body fat content, or elevated energy efficiency. We found no evidence that rats most prone to dietary obesity were also prone to weight gain after weight cycling. During the weight cycling phase (days 1 to 90), weight cycled groups consumed less energy and gained less weight than controls. During the follow-up phase, WC and CO rats did not differ significantly in weight gain or energy intake. Discussion: In this study, weight cycling did not exacerbate the obesity produced by high-fat diet feeding. Copyright © 1999 NAASO.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lauer JB; Reed GW; Hill JO
  • Start Page

  • 215
  • End Page

  • 222
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 2