Overeating, overweight and obesity induced by an unpreferred diet

Physiol Behav. 1988;43(4):501-6. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(88)90125-4.


Rats fed diets containing 50-71% added water (liquid diets) eat more energy and gain more weight than rats fed the same diets without added water (solid diets). The present experiments examined the effects of making a liquid diet less palatable. The first experiment examined the effects of sucrose octaacetate on diet preference. Rats, given a choice of a liquid diet containing 0.5% sucrose octaacetate and a plain solid diet, preferred the plain solid diet for three weeks. When the concentration of sucrose octaacetate was reduced to 0.05%, the rats did not show a reliable preference for either the sucrose octaacetate liquid or plain dry diet. In subsequent experiments, each rat was given only one diet at a time. In the second experiment, rats were fed 0.5% sucrose octaacetate liquid diet for three weeks followed by 0.05% sucrose octaacetate liquid diet for another four weeks. The rats fed the sucrose octaacetate liquid diet overate and became obese compared to the rats fed plain solid diet throughout. In the third experiment, rats fed 0.5% sucrose octaacetate liquid diet for six weeks became obese compared to rats fed plain solid diet throughout. Thus, the overeating and obesity induced by liquid diets cannot be attributed solely to their high palatability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Taste*