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Physiol Behav. 1992 Jan;51(1):1-6.

Early-onset repeated dieting reduces food intake and body weight but not adiposity in dietary-obese female rats.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.


As dieting behavior and attempts at weight loss are becoming increasingly common in adolescent girls, we wished to determine whether early-onset repeated dieting influenced the development of obesity and its metabolic correlates. Female rats were fed a high-fat diet and subjected to six cycles of dieting and regain, beginning in the peripubertal period. Although dieted rats weighted less than nondieted high-fat fed controls at the completion of the sixth cycle, body composition analysis revealed that the two groups were equally obese. Cumulative caloric intake was less in dieted rats, suggesting that the pattern of consumption promoted by dieting helped to establish the obesity. Resting metabolic rate did not differ between the two groups. These data suggest that although early-onset repeated dieting may result in reduced body weight, the eventual level of adiposity may be unknowingly elevated, potentially leading to long-term health risks.

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