The effect of diet on food intake and adiposity in rats made obese by gestational undernutrition

Physiol Behav. 1986;37(3):381-6. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(86)90194-0.


Undernutrition limited to the first two weeks (trimesters) of pregnancy in rats produces a delayed-onset enhancement of body weight and food intake in male but not female offspring. Adiposity measures (fat cell size, fat pad weight and carcass lipid content) however, were enhanced only in male offspring of previously deprived mothers maintained on a high-fat diet. Previous work had shown that although these adiposity differences are enhanced by this diet, hyperphagia was eliminated when animals were switched to the high-fat diet as adults. The current study demonstrates that if offspring of deprived animals are exposed to the high-fat diet early in life, hyperphagia ensues. Adipocyte number, and circulating triglyceride levels were unaffected by our nutritional manipulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains