High-fat diet intake often leads to obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension, which present a common and detrimental health problem. However, precise mechanism underlying tissue damage due to high-fat diet-induced obesity has not been carefully elucidated. The present study was designed to examine the effect of high-fat diet intake on visceral advanced glycation end products (AGEs) formation, nuclear O-Glc-NAc modification and apoptosis in heart, liver and kidney. Adult male Sprague-Dawley weight-matched rats were fed for 12 weeks with a high-fat diet (45% kcal from fat) or an isocaloric low-fat diet (10% kcal from fat). High-fat diet feeding significantly elevated body weight. Blood pressure and heart rate were comparable between the two rat groups. Competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed significantly elevated serum AGE levels, visceral AGE formation, caspase-3 activation and cytoplasmic DNA fragmentation in heart and liver but not kidney samples of high-fat diet fed rats compared with those from low-fat diet fed group. Western blot analysis further revealed that high-fat diet feeding induced overt nuclear O-Glc-NAc modification and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in heart and liver although not in kidney samples of the high-fat diet-fed rats. Collectively, our results indicated that high-fat diet intake is associated with obesity accompanied by elevated serum and visceral AGEs, visceral post-translational nuclear O-Glc-NAcylated modification and apoptosis, which may contribute to high-fat diet-induced tissue damage.