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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1991 Sep;71(3):801-6.

Effect of dietary restriction and/or exercise on 23-h metabolic rate and body composition in female rats.

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  • 1Department of Human Development Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405-0117.


This study examined the effects of three levels of dietary intake [ad libitum fed (AL), moderately severe (MSR), and severe restriction (SR)] and two levels of exercise [cage confinement (CC) and exercise training (E)] on 23-h resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body composition in 47 female Sprague-Dawley rats. At the end of the 9-wk study, the MSR and SR groups weighed approximately 81 and 61%, respectively, of the AL-CC group. RMR was depressed for the MSR and SR groups compared with the AL-CC group. This was true whether expressed on an absolute (ml/min) or relative ( basis. On a relative basis, which accounts for changes caused by weight loss alone, the RMR decreased by approximately 12 and 19%, respectively, for the MSR and SR groups compared with the AL-CC group. Although E resulted in significant differences in fat mass, percent fat, percent water, and heart mass between the AL groups, there were no significant differences between E and CC groups at either the MSR or SR level of dietary intake for any of the variables measured (i.e., body composition, muscle mass, RMR). Thus E does not appear to affect the composition of lost weight or RMR during diet-induced weight loss for female rats of normal weight.

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